Peter D. Friedmann, Christina M. Andrews, and Keith Nielsen Humphreys were published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. As experts in the fields of policy, social work, and psychiatry, the three argue that although not its original intent, the ACA has offered “valuable tools” to those affected by opioid use and abuse, namely: it expanded Medicaid coverage; it required that addiction treatment be included in existing insurance plans; and it instructed that care for opioid use disorder would be provided at parity to other health services. The researchers predict that total repeal of the ACA would harm the millions of Americans with substance use disorders, but rural communities—who have historically had the highest rates of opioid-related mortality nationwide—would be hit the hardest.

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