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News Wednesday, Jun 28 2017

Trump admits the Senate Trumpcare bill would gut opioid funding

Jun 28, 2017

Today, Donald Trump admitted that one of the primary concerns that blocked the Senate from voting on the Trumpcare bill – which he endorsed again this afternoon – was how it would hurt the ability of states to fight the opioid crisis.

The Senate Trumpcare bill that Donald Trump supports breaks all of the health reform promises he made to voters on the campaign trail. Trump said he would cover “everybody,” but this bill would cause over 20 million Americans to lose their health insurance. He said he would not cut Medicaid, but the Senate Trumpcare bill would cut Medicaid by almost $800 billion and structurally end the program as we know it. And he said he would maintain the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people suffering from preexisting conditions, but this undermines those through an insidious backdoor.

Donald Trump also pledged to the American people that he would address the epidemic of opioid addiction that is hurting people all over the country. Yet numerous authorities, from medical experts to significant Republican elected officials, are sounding alarm bells, because the Senate Trumpcare bill would be tremendously hurtful to efforts to combat the epidemic.

And this afternoon Donald Trump inadvertently admitted it.

“The Senate Trumpcare bill would end Medicaid as we know it to provide billions in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” said American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates. “This heartless bill would deal a blow to our country’s struggle against opioid addiction. That’s why officials in both parties are warning against Trumpcare. This bill must not pass.”


Donald Trump: “Well, we’re sending a lot of it back to the states, where it belongs. And this will be something really special if we can get it done. Always tough. It’s probably the toughest subject from the standpoint of approval because every state is different; every state has different needs. We have a tremendous opioid problem and some states are more affected by that than others. But overall I have to tell you this will be a tremendous plan.”


American Medical Association, 6/26/2017: “The AMA is particularly concerned with proposals to convert the Medicaid program into a system that limits the federal obligation to care for needy patients to a predetermined formula based on per-capita-caps….Per-capita-caps fail to take into account unanticipated costs of new medical innovations or the fiscal impact of public health epidemics, such as the crisis of opioid abuse currently ravaging our nation.”

American Psychiatric Association, 6/22/2017“APA opposes changes to Medicaid that would lead to a significant number of Americans losing coverage. An estimated 2.8 million Americans with substance use disorders and 1.3 million with serious mental illness have gained coverage for the first time under the expansion of Medicaid in the current law. Medicaid expansion has been an important resource in helping address the opioid epidemic, providing access to treatment for many caught up in the crisis.”

USA Today, 6/27/2017: “Kasich urged Portman not to support the bill even if McConnell agrees to beef up funding for opioid treatment, because that would not be enough to make up for the GOP bill’s proposed cuts to federal Medicaid funding.   ‘I told him if they hand you a few billion dollars on opioids … that’s like spitting in the ocean,’ Kasich said. ‘I’ve talked to Rob a million times. He knows exactly what my concerns are.'”

McClatchy, 6/20/2017: “The Senate legislation is expected to closely mirror the House GOP bill, passed in May, which slashes $834 billion from the Medicaid program by changing its funding formula and phasing out the coverage expansion. Considering the need for extra services and the fast growth of the opioid problem, Dr. Richard Frank, a Harvard University health economics professor, said roughly $190 billion over 10 years is closer to what’s actually needed. Medicaid now covers about 34 percent of the estimated 2.66 million Americans with an opiate-use disorder, Frank estimates. That includes 99,000 people with opioid dependence who gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion.”

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.”

Published: Jun 28, 2017

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