Opioid epidemic

Medicaid expansion isn't fueling the opioid crisis

Paul Ryan stands next to a graph depicting an increase in drug overdose deaths.
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A new study pours even more cold water — and there's already been a lot of cold water here — on the idea that the Medicaid expansion has fueled the opioid epidemic.

The details: The study, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, shows that the rate of overdose deaths in Medicaid expansion states is lower, not higher, than in non-expansion states.

How states can improve addiction treatment

Activists hold a sign that reads, "No more drug war"
People protest New York City's response to the opioid epidemic, 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

States can do a lot to improve treatment for opioid addiction, especially through their Medicaid programs, former HHS official Emma Sandoe writes in Health Affairs.

The big picture: Medicaid pays for more addiction treatment than private insurance, making it an important part of any solution to the opioid crisis.