Congress has joined the nationwide fight against the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, at least $5.5 billion in federal funding that helps more than a million people with serious mental disorders and about 3 million people with substance abuse disorders, including more than 200,000 who are addicted to opioids, will be wiped away, according to research published by Harvard Medical School.
The bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act that passed through Congress late last year before the Administration change allowed a billion-dollar increase in treatment over two years. One aspect that remains on the chopping block should Obamacare be repealed is the so-called “medication assisted treatment” for opioid addiction, that includes treatments such as buprenorphine which reduces the painful withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction.
“It would be a cruel sham for Congress to take an important, but modest, step forward in investing in treatment capacity, while withdrawing funds from the enormous recent progress made in addressing the needs for care of those with mental health and addictive illness,” wrote Harvard health economic professor Richard G. Frank and New York University public service dean Sherry Glied in Washington, D.C.’s The Hill newspaper.
President Donald Trump vowed even before he was elected president that he would repeal Obamacare as one of his first orders of business and replace it with an even better plan. Though the president launched out to do just that, the sentiment has simmered in recent weeks as some lawmakers begin to question the pitfalls of a quick and sweeping repeal of the healthcare program. The Affordable Care Act has extended health insurance to 20 million people, but those who oppose it say it is an egregious overreach of the government.
Source: The Morning Call