By CARLA K. JOHNSON and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — An intriguing new theory is gaining traction among conservative foes of the Obama-era health law: Its Medicaid expansion to low-income adults may be fueling the opioid epidemic.
If true, that would represent a shocking outcome for government policy.
But university researchers who study the drug problem say there’s no evidence to suggest that’s happening. In fact, some say it’s just the opposite.
Bolstering the Medicaid theory is a private analysis produced by the Department of Health and Human Services for Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. The analysis says the overdose death rate rose nearly twice as much in states that expanded Medicaid compared with states that didn’t.
Independent experts say the analysis misses key facts and skips standard steps used to rule out coincidences.