Medicaid Expansion Helps to Fight the Opioid Crisis in the U.S. 

The states are responding to opioid epidemics. Those who are low-income adults are leading the way in treatment for their substance disorder. This is true for the states that have expanded their public insurance to those who qualify as low-income. 

The laws and efforts in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Mississippi have increased access to treatment for people who have substance abuse or even chronic pain. This program would allow comprehensive centers for pain management to be used to help avoid the abuse of opioids. They are also working with people to help prevent overdose and try to end the opioid epidemic. 

There isn’t a single solution for everyone. Many different solutions are being implemented. Even the solutions that are being used need to be individualized because no one solution helps everyone the same. However, we do know that there is progress even despite the large epidemic. Plus, all the states have their best practices happening. 

The biggest progress is the growth of the practice in Medicaid agencies. They are dropping the requirements that need to be authorized before needing treatment. This would mean that the people would not need to get analyzed to receive medication-assisted treatment. This allowed more people to come forward to enter treatment than those who had to go through screenings. Because this has worked so well, other state leaders and state insurance commissioners are trying to remove barriers. 

The states that have expanded their Medicaid coverage to low-income adults are at a level that is far ahead of the states that have not expanded their terms. The states that have not expanded their terms are not addressing the epidemic the way they should. The report stated that all states are urged to expand the Medicaid program as it is allowed under the Affordable Care Act. This would be the best way to address the current epidemic that is occurring across the country. 

It really is a debate on private vs. Public health insurance. People who are under private health insurance may not be able to cover the cost of treatment. Plus, if they are low-income, they already may not have a great insurance plan. Medicaid would help those who are considered low-income get help. 

There are enacted laws for the expansion of Medicaid in 36 states in the United States. This leaves 14 states not willing to expand. According to the managing director of Manatt Health, without expanding, there is a missing fundamental tool that can help address this opioid epidemic. 

With the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults, they would have access to drug overdose treatment guidelinesand that would help reduce poisoning and drug overdose. This could help reduce overdose deaths. Two out of every three overdose deaths include opioids. Having these items at a person’s disposal could help reduce the risk of overdose. It may take some time for all states to implement Medicaid to low-income adults, but it may be the best thing to help solve this epidemic. 



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