Addiction treatment boosted under ACA: 5 things to know

As President Trump and congressional Republicans continue efforts to dismantle the ACA, many are looking at how this could affect healthcare, including addiction treatment.

Here are five things to know about addiction treatment under the ACA, per a report from The New York Times.

1. Under the ACA, mental health and addiction treatment are designated as "essential benefits" that must be covered through the law's marketplaces and Medicaid expansion, according to the report.

2. Estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning research group, show 2.8 million people with substance use disorders, including 220,000 with opioid disorders, have coverage under the ACA, reports the Times.

3. Amid the nationwide opioid epidemic, public health officials say the ACA has started to make a critical difference in their ability to treat and rehabilitate people, according to the report.

"Of all the illnesses, this is one where we've seen very dramatic changes and where we stand to lose the most ground if we lose the ACA," Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, told the Times,, adding that primary care clinics and healthcare systems are starting to integrate treatment programs nationwide.

4. Still, even as the number of opioid prescriptions in the United States has finally started falling, expanded health coverage has probably made it easier for some people to obtain the drugs, the report notes.

5. While President Trump vowed to dismantle the ACA, he also promised to address the opioid epidemic and expand access to drug treatment, according to the report.

For more on this story, read the full report in The New York Times.

 

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