Reacting to the news that Senate Republican leadership may attach a paltry amount of funding to the Trumpcare bill that medical experts across the United States have said leaves addiction victims helpless and that the Trump Administration just characterized as a “bribe” to Republican Senators, American Bridge released a new report underlining that this bill would have horrifying effects in key states.
Senate Republicans were forced to postpone even voting to *begin* debate on the Trumpcare bill that they wrote behind closed doors after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a devastating report showing that the plan would cause 22 million Americans to lose their healthcare, fundamentally undermine the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting conditions like cancer, and make drastic cuts to Medicaid, ending the program as we know it – all to give new tax benefits to the wealthiest Americans.
Additionally, the country’s top healthcare experts, such as the American Medical Association, as well as numerous Republican governors specifically condemned the Senate Trumpcare legislation because it’s Medicaid cuts and its backdoor attack on essential health benefits would be a crippling setback to combating the opioid crisis that is ravaging every state.
Medical and addiction experts who testified before President Trump’s own Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis have warned that the Medicaid expansion – which would be undone by Trumpcare – is critical to stopping the opioid epidemic, and have argued for keeping the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee for coverage of essential health benefits, like hospitalization, fully intact.
On top of all of this, the Harvard Medical School professor who helped generate the $45 billion figure says that his work has been taken out of context by Republicans, and has stated that this amount if money does not even approach what would be necessary to compensate for the damage to opioid treatment that would be incurred by the Senate Trumpcare bill.
To put in perspective the terrifying damage that Trumpcare would have on our nation’s capacity to help the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are suffering from opioid addiction, American Bridge is releasing a report detailing how the Senate bill would harm the states of key senators in the national debate.
The report can be read HERE.
“The Senate Trumpcare bill breaks every major promise Donald Trump made to voters about access to affordable treatment that doesn’t put them on a road to bankruptcy if they become sick,” said American Bridge spokesperson Harrell Kirstein. “Trumpcare’s abandonment of the Americans suffering from opioid addiction is a horrifying example of how this is not a healthcare bill at all – it’s a barely disguised tax cut for the rich at the expense of everyone else.”
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL CHARACTERIZES OPIOID TREATMENT FUNDING AS A ‘BRIBE” TO REPUBLICAN SENATORS
Axios, 6/29/2017: “From an administration source: ‘I think we’re going to pass this. I really think they’ll bribe off the moderates with opioid money and then actually move policy to shore up Mike Lee and Ted Cruz….'”
EXPERTS TESTIFYING TO TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OPIOID COMMISSION WARN AGAINST ENDING MEDICAID EXPANSION AND UNDERMINING ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS COVERAGE
National Council for Behavioral Health Medical Director Dr. Joe Parks, 6/18/2017: “Medicaid is the largest national payer for addiction and mental health treatment…Since the majority of increased opiate deaths and suicide occur in young and middle-aged adults, which is the [Medicaid] expansion population, the Medicaid expansions must be maintained and completed.”
Stat News, 6/18/2017: “‘Medicaid, essential health benefits, parity, parity, parity,’ said Gary Mendell, the CEO of the addiction-focused nonprofit Shatterproof, referring to Medicaid cuts proposed in Trump’s budget and by pending legislation to repeal elements of the Affordable Care Act, including regulations mandating which basic aspects of health care insurers must cover. ‘That category cannot be underemphasized.'”
MEDICAL AND ADDICTION EXPERTS AND GOV. JOHN KASICH ON $45 BILLION BEING A FIG LEAF AND TRUMPCARE BEING A MASSIVE IMPEDIMENT TO OPIOID ADDICTION TREATMENT
Harvard Medical School Professor of Health Economics Richard G. Frank, 6/20/2017: “Several Republican Senators seek to add $45 billion over 10 years to compensate for the lost support for mental health and substance use disorder treatment that would result by enacting the House-passed AHCA. Unfortunately, their proposal falls far short of the resources needed to fight this crisis. In fact, it will cost more than $183 billion over ten years to cover the lost coverage opportunities caused by the AHCA and to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic.”
- “Where did the $45 billion come from? The $45 billion appears to be based on estimates of 2016 spending for behavioral health care made by Sherry Glied and me….This estimate only counts a sliver of the health care needs for people with substance use disorders.”
Politico, 6/29/2017: “‘That’s like spitting in the ocean,’ Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich said of spending money on opioids without giving people ongoing health care.”
Center for Community Solutions President John Corlett, 6/29/2017: “#Opioid cash may sweeten Senate health bill; but w/o health coverage dollars goes only so far to treat #addiction”
Shatterproof CEO Gary Mendell, 6/22/2017: “The proposed $45 billion was not going to come close to being sufficient to address the epidemic that’s ravaging our country and taking more lives every day…Shatterproof will continue to pressure senators to vote no on this bill that would have devastating effects for Americans with substance use disorders.”
Center for American Progress, 6/20/2017: “More importantly, the Senate ACA repeal bill is not a substitute for the comprehensive health benefits currently available through Medicaid and the ACA marketplaces. The opioid fund included in that bill would not come close to mitigating harm from other parts of bill. Even if the entirety of the fund were available to cover low-income individuals being treated for [opioid use disorder], $45 billion would provide only half of the $91 billion that would be available under the ACA for health coverage alone.”
Business Insider, 6/25/2017: “Christine Eibner, a health economist for the Rand Corporation, told Business Insider in May that while there was uncertainty about how states would change regulations, it was reasonable to think state legislators would be under a lot of pressure to cut back on EHBs if other states are able to show that doing so brings down premiums. If that happens, substance-abuse treatment is viewed as the benefit “most at risk” to be cut, Eibner said.”
Published: Jun 29, 2017