Federal Medicaid cuts threaten addiction treatment in PA

Last session legislators in the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a number of bipartisan measures to address the growing heroin addiction crisis in Pennsylvania.

 

Now, Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate are poised to wipe all that progress away with huge cuts to #Medicaid.

 

Those cuts would endanger addiction treatment, which many Pennsylvanians receive under health care supported by Medicaid.

 

For some patients, medications that help them overcome addiction cost as much as $1,000 a month or more.

 

Without their medication, these patients will likely relapse into heroin and other drug addiction.

 

What's worse, if #Medicaid cuts of the size Republicans are pushing in their Trumpcare bill become a reality, many doctors believe more people will die from overdoses, and Hepatitis C and HIV infections will rise because of dirty needles.

 

Slashing Medicaid so that private insurance companies and the wealthy can get even richer will make what is already a public health crisis in Pennsylvania and other states even worse.

 

More than 124,000 Pennsylvanians who are trying to beat drug or alcohol addictions depend on Medicaid to help them afford their medications. 

 

The Republican Trumpcare bill, which has already passed the U.S. House and could soon be voted on in the Senate, would cut Medicaid funds for the states by $800 billion over the next decade.

 

Nine House Republicans from Pennsylvania voted for Trumpcare and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says he supports it.

 

If federal Medicaid money gets cut, Pennsylvania will either have to fill in the financial gap, limit access to addiction treatment for everyone, or drop coverage for many patients.

 

Pennsylvania is facing a budget deficit that could reach $3 billion by the end of the coming fiscal year.

 

Doctors and their patients agree: without treatment recovery from addiction is nearly impossible.

 

The loss of Medicaid will mean a loss of hope for thousands of patients and more devastation for families and communities in Pennsylvania.

 

That's too high a price to pay for more profits for big insurance companies and more tax breaks for the very wealthy.