Medicaid Expansion Would Help Opioid Addicts
Report finds opioid treatment drugs 72 times more expensive in private market than through Medicaid.
The report, released Wednesday by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, found the average low-income individual who would be eligible for Medicaid under the expansion would pay as much as 72 times more for opioid addiction drugs on the Affordable Care Act’s private insurance marketplace than through Medicaid.
The Medicaid expansion, proposed by Gov. Tony Evers, would extend Medicaid — known as BadgerCare in Wisconsin — to people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $17,200 per year.
Right now, the state offers Medicaid to people who earn up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $12,500 per year.
Speaking at a state Capitol press conference, Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, said lawmakers face a moral imperative to accept the expansion.
According to the report, there are vast regional differences in the price of drugs that treat opioid addiction, including buprenorphine-naloxone. It found the drugs were 22 times more expensive on the private marketplace than Medicaid in La Crosse and 111 times more expensive in Stevens Point, Wausau and Rhinelander.
Joseph Galey, a recovering addict and recovery coach at the nonprofit Safe Communities in Madison, said being able to afford opioid addiction medication is a challenge for many.
“This is one of the greatest barriers that I face on a daily basis,” he said. “In my own recovery, when I started the road to recovery, it was very difficult.”
The report said the full retail cost for naloxone averages about $128 for a pack of 14 pills. Some patients are recommended to take the drug for the rest of their lives.
Evers and Democratic state lawmakers have been pushing the GOP-controlled Legislature to accept the Medicaid expansion, which former Gov. Scott Walker first rejected in 2014.
Republicans argue the expansion will raise costs on the private marketplace.
Leaders of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee announced plans last week to strip Evers’ proposal from the budget during its first vote on the two-year spending plan on Thursday.
Kraig said he and other advocates will continue to fight for the proposal, however that vote plays out.
“I don’t think that (Thursday) is final at all,” he said. “Until the governor signs a budget, it’s not final … I think this is going to be a long debate.”
Listen to the WPR report here.
Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Make Opioid Addiction Treatment More Affordable was originally published by Wisconsin Pubilc Radio.
More about the Opioid Crisis
- Opioid Addiction Can Be Beaten, Experts Say - Isiah Holmes - Aug 15th, 2019
- State Health Agency’s New Data Tool Shows a Decline in the Number of Opioid Deaths in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Aug 14th, 2019
- DHS Takes Coordinated Approach to Dealing with Opioid Addiction - Brady Carlson - Aug 9th, 2019
- Why the Weekend of Fatal Overdoses? - Isiah Holmes - Jul 31st, 2019
- Wisconsin Is Awash in Opioids - Isiah Holmes - Jul 28th, 2019
- City May Sue Opioid Manufacturers - Alana Watson - Jul 26th, 2019
- Attorney General Kaul Files Lawsuit to Hold Purdue Pharma Accountable for Role in Opioid Crisis - State Rep. Gordon Hintz - May 16th, 2019
- AG Kaul Announces Wisconsin, Four Other States, File Lawsuits Against Purdue Pharma - Josh Kaul - May 16th, 2019
- Medicaid Expansion Would Help Opioid Addicts - Laurel White - May 9th, 2019
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Reintroduce Legislation to Combat the Opioid and Substance Use Epidemic - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - May 8th, 2019
- Kaul, AGs Warn of More Opioid Problems - Shamane Mills - Apr 2nd, 2019
- Bipartisan Coalition of AGs Express Concern Regarding HHS Pain Management Draft Report - Josh Kaul - Apr 1st, 2019
- Opioid Crisis Affecting State Businesses - Shamane Mills - Apr 1st, 2019
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Bipartisan Work Recognized by National Organization - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Mar 28th, 2019
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Announces New Federal Funding To Help Wisconsin Combat the Opioid Epidemic - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Mar 27th, 2019
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- State Officials Meet to Tackle Drug Epidemic - Shamane Mills - Mar 18th, 2019
- The Enduring Allure of Opioids - Hayley Sperling - Feb 24th, 2019
- Hagedorn Campaign Releases First TV Ad: “Lily” - Brian Hagedorn - Feb 19th, 2019
- Opioid Prescriptions in State Down 29% - Shamane Mills - Feb 11th, 2019
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- Drug Task Force Seeks Community Input - Max Nawara - Dec 20th, 2018
- Ald. Tony Zielinski to Sponsor Legislation to Ensure Proper Coverage for City Employees Struggling with Addiction and Other Mental Health Problems - Ald. Tony Zielinski - Dec 17th, 2018
- Opioid Task Force Issues Recommendations - Ximena Conde - Dec 4th, 2018
- Final report released by Heroin, Opioid and Cocaine Task Force - Ald. Michael Murphy - Nov 30th, 2018
- 4th Dimension Recovery Center Opens to Address Opioid Epidemic in Wisconsin - 4th Dimension Recovery Center - Nov 12th, 2018
- Governor Walker Announces 32% Decrease in Opioid Prescriptions Since January 2015 - Gov. Scott Walker - Oct 31st, 2018
- #HopeActLiveWI: Wisconsin Awarded Nearly $3 Million to Combat Opioid Epidemic - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Oct 10th, 2018
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Announces More Than $20 Million Awarded to Wisconsin Communities to Fight the Opioid Epidemic - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Sep 21st, 2018
- Senator Baldwin’s Reforms Pass Senate with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Sep 18th, 2018
- Another Attorney General Not Named Brad Schimel Sues Opioid Manufacturer - One Wisconsin Now - Sep 15th, 2018
- Bipartisan Senate Opioids Response Legislation Includes Senator Baldwin’s Reforms - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Sep 12th, 2018
- The State of Politics: Counties Struggle With Opioid Costs - Steven Walters - Aug 20th, 2018
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- PDMP Report Shows Continued Decline in Controlled Substances Dispensed - Gov. Scott Walker - Jul 30th, 2018
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- Sensenbrenner-Backed Legislation to Fight Synthetic Opioids Clears House - U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner - Jun 15th, 2018
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- Brad Schimel and Scott Walker Repeat Mistakes Past; Refuse to Take Legal Action Against Opioid Manufacturers - One Wisconsin Now - Jun 4th, 2018
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- Campaign Cash: State Politicians Funded by Accused Drug Makers - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - May 26th, 2018
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- Brad Schimel Election Ad Blames Families, Not His Pharmaceutical Donors for Opioid Crisis - One Wisconsin Now - May 17th, 2018
- Governor Walker Announces 10% Drop in Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed Over the Past Year - Gov. Scott Walker - May 16th, 2018
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- Bryce Calls on Steil to To Reject Donations from Pharmaceutical Companies Fueling the Opioid Crisis - Randy Bryce - May 9th, 2018
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- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Colleagues to Call on Administration to Take Immediate Action to Reduce Price of Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Apr 20th, 2018
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- Combating the Opioid Crisis: Governor Walker Signs Bipartisan Bills on Opioids into Law - Gov. Scott Walker - Apr 9th, 2018
- Bipartisan Alternative Drug Treatment Program Signed Into Law - State Rep. Evan Goyke - Apr 3rd, 2018
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Hosts Roundtable with Green Bay Officials on Fighting the Opioid Epidemic - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Apr 2nd, 2018
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- Supervisor Peggy West: Time to Hold Drug Makers Accountable - Sup. Peggy A. West - Mar 14th, 2018
- U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to Health Insurers: Step Up Response to Opioid Epidemic - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Mar 5th, 2018
- Latest Report Highlights 20 Percent Decrease in Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed from 2015 to 2017 - Gov. Scott Walker - Mar 2nd, 2018
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- Governor Walker Discusses the Opioid Epidemic at Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Conference - Gov. Scott Walker - Feb 5th, 2018
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- Governor Walker Takes Additional Action to Fight Opioid Crisis - Gov. Scott Walker - Jan 19th, 2018
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- Op Ed: Opioid Crisis Demands Bipartisan Solutions - Jeff Plale - Feb 24th, 2017
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