Opioid addiction is ravaging the nation.
Over reliance on drugs like Vicodin and opioids by physicians has contributed to the groundswell of people struggling to overcome chemical dependence and opioid addiction. One of the emerging treatments uses cannabis in place of harsh or dangerous pharmaceuticals with unknown side effects.
1 in 3 Americans directly affected by the addiction epidemic. The low risk and cost of cannabis compares well to the wildly fluctuating pharmaceutical prices. Mandates around pre-existing conditions and mental health services in the Affordable Care Act helped expand Medicaid and insure millions for the first time in their lives.
Lawmakers decide killing up to 24 million is better than doing nothing.
Access to many of the essential addiction and mental health services people have come to depend on are getting removed. The 24 million Americans who can afford it the least will be expelled from treatment. Republicans voted to pass the American Health Care Act before they even knew how much it would cost.
After years of chanting ‘repeal and replace’, the Republicans had their chance to present an alternative. Yet they had literally nothing ready. Even when they were voting on the bill, they didn’t even know how much it would cost. But lawmakers were so zealous to pass ANYTHING that they willingly signed a blank check and hoped someone else would clean up the bodies.
According to an NPR interview with President Obama’s director of National Drug Control Policy (NDCP)Michael Botticelli, “I think it’s not hyperbolic to forecast that we’re going to see dramatic increases in mortality associated with drug overdose deaths [if the proposed bill goes into effect],”
Many organizations predict catastrophe for 24 million people.
It’s not just the NDCP that thinks the republican led healthcare bill will lead to more deadly opioid addiction. The American Society of Addiction Medicine sent a letter (PDF) warning Congress that the Republicans’ American Health Care Act will reduce coverage for vulnerable populations, including those who suffer from addictions.
Most states have medical marijuana laws in place that require a doctor’s recommendation. Many people are only able to obtain their medical marijuana cards because the Affordable Care Act forced insurance companies to include regular checkups. Millions of people on the low end of the economic spectrum could finally obtain the treatment they needed for years. Until the Republican led American Health Care Act was forced through the legislature at least.
The new AHCA doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The Trump budget plan cuts funding for mental health treatment in addition to the changes made in the healthcare bill. At the same time, it provides additional funding to drug enforcement. This will create more deadly clashes between police and the mentally ill. Clearly, the current lawmakers are Disturbed and Drowning Pool fans because they are Down with the Sickness to Let the Bodies hit the Floor. Although I’m pretty sure those bands have done more to promote mental health.