The Republican-controlled House has passed the American Health Care Act, also known as Trump care. President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to help solve the opioid crisis. I’m sure he thinks that Trump care will help, but it won’t. A provision in the bill would allow states to stop covering mental health and substance abuse patients. So, he’s really doing more harm than good here. Also, over 24 million people could lose coverage under these new plans.
What this bill would allow states to do is opt out of the Obamacare “essential benefits” requirements. Obamacare required insurance companies to cover certain essential benefits including preventative care, addiction treatment, and mental health care. Trumpcare would also stop the Medicaid expansion, which has helped many people obtain coverage who weren’t able to before.
Newsweek spoke with Dr. Yngvild Olsen from the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose about what patients with addiction may face should the AHCA became law. When asked about how it would affect his patients, she said:
“I provide treatment for opiate addiction that includes medication. For individuals who have been able to access addiction treatment through the ACA, including Medicaid expansion in the individual market through the health exchanges. If they are now unable to access care because of the changes to the Medicaid infrastructure and the financing structure, as well as increased premiums on the individual market, then they may need to make tough decisions about if they’re going to continue the care and whether we going to continue providing care for them. For people who have achieved recovery and stability, that is something that they value extremely and are rightfully concerned. It’s something they’re not going to be able to continue.”