The Republican senators are from two states heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic but have been found that the Medicaid expansion is helping cover treatment expenses. Overdose deaths rose 20.5 percent in 2015 in Ohio to 3,050 and 30 percent in Pennsylvania, to 3,500. Meanwhile, In Kansas, some people with disabilities fear possible cuts in Medicaid.

Modern Healthcare:
Senators Consider Killing Medicaid Expansion That Helps Residents From Their Drug-Torn States

[Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have] been asked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to come up with a compromise between GOP conservatives and moderates on capping Medicaid spending and rolling back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion to low-income adults. That’s a key disagreement holding up Senate Republicans’ version of ACA repeal-and-replace legislation. McConnell’s assignment puts Portman and Toomey in a very tough and highly visible spot. (Meyer, 5/31)

Modern Healthcare:
Feds, States Seek To End Medicaid’s Limits On Substance Abuse Care 

States and some federal officials are working harder to end some limits on Medicaid reimbursements for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment in the face of the nationwide opioid addiction crisis. Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that eases federal restrictions on Medicaid reimbursement for substance use disorder treatment centers. The bill would allow centers with up to 40 beds to receive reimbursement from Medicaid for stays of up to 60 consecutive days. (Dickson, 5/31)

Kansas City Star:
KC Disability Community Fears Medicaid Changes In GOP Health Bill

People with disabilities, their families and their service providers say [Medicaid cuts being considered as part of congressional Republicans’ health care replacement] would fall most harshly on them, because the disabled are the most expensive population within Medicaid, and Medicaid is basically the only payer for in-home disability support services that help with nonmedical things like cooking, dressing and bathing — services like the ones [Ashley] Boyer received as she rehabbed after her stroke. (Marso, 5/31)

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