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How Medicaid is fueling the drug overdose crisis

“Speak no ill of Medicaid” appears to be the guiding principle of those seeking to identify and solve the drug overdose crisis.

The only way to explain the timing of the precipitous epidemic of the 400-600 percent increase in overdoses in the years 2013-2016 is to understand the amalgamation of the border surge and Medicaid expansion happening around the same time.

In our series of articles on the drug overdose crisis, we have demonstrated that what the political class refers to as an “opioid crisis” and claims to be solving by addressing prescription overdoses – is in fact a fentanyl and heroin crisis fueled by a massive influx of drugs due to immigration and border policies.l

Say it with me: It’s not prescriptions

Incontrovertible data show that prescriptions for opioids are plummeting because of the new restrictions put into place, for better or for worse, yet deaths from heroin and fentanyl are surging. The rate of high-dosage prescription opioids has been nearly cut in half, yet the rate of fatalities has dropped only slightly in many states. As such, more of a focus on restricting prescriptions without dealing with the supply of heroin and fentanyl will be counterintuitive and allow even more fatalities.

The next logical question is this: If supply of prescription drugs is so tight, and in turn, prescription drug overdoses are going down while illicit drug overdoses are skyrocketing, do we have a prescription overdose problem at all? The answer is that while prescription deaths have gone down in most states, they have not dropped nearly as much as one would expect, given that prescriptions themselves have plummeted. Accordingly, many patients who need painkillers and are not addicts are having trouble getting them, but at the same time, a number of Medicaid patients have access to dirt-cheap prescriptions.

What was the 800-pound gorilla in the room that changed the health care landscape in around the same time the drug crisis began? Look no further than the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare.

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