Regarding Allysia Finley’s “Does Medicaid Spur Opioid Abuse?” (op-ed, Sept. 25): The opioid epidemic continues to plague our nation because we have not yet adopted the comprehensive approach necessary to address this problem. At The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, we understand that an essential component is ensuring people who are already addicted have access to treatment; an individual with Medicaid is two to three times more likely to receive opioid addiction treatment than one with private insurance. Ms. Finley’s suggestion that rolling back Medicaid is a solution to this problem is deadly.
If there is any lesson to be learned from our country’s previous failed attempts to address addiction, it is that solutions based on emotion, anecdote, intuition or political expediency don’t work. Let’s stop making the same mistakes and embrace Medicaid as an integral part of the public health approach necessary to address our nation’s addiction crisis.
Lindsey Vuolo J.D., M.P.H.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse