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Trumpcare Could Cut Medicaid Funds for Mental Health and Drug Addiction Treatments

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 5, 2017 16:02

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It's one step closer to Trumpcare--but that step still has to be made by the U.S. Senate. Health care providers' fears are rising that Medicare services for mental health and drug addiction will be cut for the poorest and most vulnerable....

On a purely humanistic level, everything that can be done must be done to help those battling mental illness, drug addiction or a combination of both, which often go hand in hand. It is troubling to think that Medicare programs for substance abuse and mental health counseling could be axed if Obamacare is eliminated and replaced by Trumpcare.

A Reuters piece by Chris Kenning points to a woman named Debra Bright who has fought addiction and psychological problems for years in West Virginia. Tragically, West Virginia has one of the highest rates of opiate addiction in the nation. If Medicaid insurance coverage is pulled, Bright, a 42-year-old mother of four and former waitress, stands to lose her all her treatment options if she doesn't pay out of pocket---which she cannot do.

On Thursday, May 4, the Republican dominated House of Representatives voted to end Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 law gave 20 million Americans the opportunity to get health insurance which they otherwise had not been able to afford. West Virginia, among at least 30 other states, voted to expand Medicare. 11 million people, formerly uninsured, went on Medicare.  

The next step is for a vote to go to the U.S. Senate. However, it is generally thought that Trumpcare would be easier to get through the House than the Senate. But anything’s possible.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said there’s no need for worry—that concerns are exaggerated. Still, when I read that health care  providers in states like West Virgina support Medicaid expansion for low income and poor people to have access to treatment, I scratch my head and say, “Who would think of cutting these services?” Even if a state is given the authority to fund patients for some Medicaid services, it is unlikely a state like West Virginia has those kinds of resources. I hope that common sense prevails. If Obamacare is voted out, at the very least, Trumpcare must make provisions for the vulnerable segment of the population fighting addiction and mental health issues—with no money to get the care they need if Medicare is cut off for them……

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 5, 2017 16:02

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Source: KPRC Houston

A push to save the Affordable Care Act Sunday among congressional Democrats in hope to stop a Republican-backed plan to repeal...

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