CBPP Publishes Report on Medicaid Expansion and the Opioid Crisis

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently published a report that highlights the importance of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion in increasing insurance coverage among individuals with opioid-use disorders (OUDs). The latest data available from the federal government rebut claims that Medicaid expansion contributed to or exacerbated the nationwide opioid crisis.

CBPP determined that Medicaid expansion increased coverage and access to treatment among populations with substance use disorders (SUDs) and dramatically reduced opioid-related hospitalizations. In states that expanded Medicaid, opioid-related hospitalizations in which the patient was uninsured fell from 13.4 percent in 2013 (just prior to expansion) to 2.9 percent two years later. The report indicates that many of these individuals experiencing OUDs gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. CBPP compares expansion vs. non-expansion states and determines that opioid-related hospitalizations have been growing at roughly the same rate in all states since expansion took effect.

The report finds that Medicaid expansion has been a critical tool in addressing the nationwide opioid crisis and showcases several state-based innovations that are underway, including those in California. The full CBPP report is available here.