GOP’s health care rollback collides with opioid epidemic

Paul Wright
Paul Wright shows a picture of himself in the hospital after a near fatal overdose in 2015, Thursday, June 15, 2017, at the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in Youngstown, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican campaign to roll back former President Barack Obama’s heath care law is colliding with the opioid epidemic.

Medicaid cutbacks would hit hard in states deeply affected by the addiction crisis. That’s according to state data and concerned lawmakers in both parties.

The GOP health care bill would phase out expanded Medicaid, which allows states to provide federally backed insurance to low-income adults previously not eligible. Many young adults dealing with addiction are in that group. Federal dollars pay for medication, rehab and other services.

According to data compiled by The Associated Press, Medicaid expansion accounted for 61 percent of total Medicaid spending on substance abuse treatment in Kentucky, 56 percent in Michigan and 59 percent in Maryland.

They’re among the states hardest hit by overdoses.