KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Experts Fear That GOP Health Plan Could Harm Addiction Services Now Covered By Medicaid

In other news on the substance abuse crisis, two federal advisory panels take steps that could lead to a ban on Opana, a reformulated opioid billed as crush resistant, making it harder to snort. But instead people are injecting the drug, leading to fatal overdoses and the spread of HIV. And, The New York Times reports that teen drug use is down.

Stat: How Medicaid Pays For Addiction Treatment, State By State
More than 30,000 Americans are dying from heroin and painkiller overdoses every year. Hundreds of thousands of people covered by Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid — more than a million, by at least one estimate — have mental health and substance abuse issues. The GOP plan could impact the program in two ways. First, it would eliminate in 2020 the requirement that states, which administer Medicaid and jointly fund it with the federal government, offer robust coverage of mental health and substance abuse services for people who enrolled in Medicaid under the Obamacare expansion. (Scott, 3/14)

USA Today: Federal Advisory Panels Agree Opana's Risks Outweigh Benefits
In a move that could lead to a national ban, two federal advisory panels voted Tuesday that the risks outweigh the benefits of a widely-abused opioid that was reformulated to deter addicts from snorting it. The new extended-release version of Endo Pharmaceuticals' Opana may even be more dangerous than the version it replaced, according to critics including the advocacy group Public Citizen. Two Food and Drug Administration advisory panels seemed to agree, voting 18 to 8 that it presents more risks than benefits to society. (Wise and O'Donnell, 3/14)

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