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Health & Science

Republican Replacement of Obamacare Could Derail the Battle Against Opioids in Ohio

Dr. Richard Frank, who authored a study on the effect of Medicaid expansion on opioid treatment, says that 13 states showed an increase of 20% or more in opioid mortality rates.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting that 14 million Americans who have health insurance under Obamacare could lose that coverage in the first year of the Republican replacement. That plan could also have a big impact on people seeking help for opioid addiction.

Dr. Richard Frank is the former assistant secretary of Planning and Evaluation for the Department of Health and Human Services.

He says that states like Ohio with high opioid mortality rates will be the hardest hit by the phase out of Medicaid expansion under the Republican plan.

“If you look at who funds treatment for opioid use disorder, in Ohio nearly 50% of that is funded by Medicaid. We’re talking about rolling back the expansion but we’re also talking about severely constraining the ability of the Medicaid program for even the remaining populations.”

According to a report by New York University and Harvard co-authored by Frank, 222,000 people in the U.S. with an opioid disorder would lose some or all of their insurance under the Republican plan.