Drugs for Dollars: How Medicaid Helps Fuel the Opioid Epidemic, a Majority Staff Report of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths throughout America has appropriately been labeled a national health care crisis. In 2016, the nearly 64,000 drug overdose deaths outnumbered every other cause of accidental fatalities. As a result, Americans have been paying much attention to what caused this epidemic and what can be done to end it. Less attention is paid to the possibility that federal programs--namely, Medicaid--have contributed to the epidemic. There are many causes to the opioid epidemic, making it easy to point multiple fingers of blame. Most agree that development, marketing, and medical training regarding drug usage--and the resulting over-prescription of opioids--have played a key role. In addition, drug traffickers take full advantage of America's unsecured borders to flood heroin and fentanyl into lucrative domestic markets. Solutions directed at these problems are similarly nuanced and multifaceted. But what if one of the contributing causes is connected to federal spending itself?"

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Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/
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