Specious Theory

“Medicaid expansion may be fueling the opioid epidemic,” US Sen. Ron Johnson wrote recently, voicing a theory that conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been circulating for months.

Not so, argue Aaron E. Carroll, a pediatrics professor at Indiana University, and health economist Austin Frakt.

By closely examining issues of correlation vs. causation and the history of the opioid epidemic—whose roots go back long before the ACA—the authors argue the theory is badly flawed.

“To use a theoretical Medicaid-opioid connection … to justify scaling back Medicaid ignores the larger picture—that it is a crucial aspect of our safety net,” they write.

Source: The New York Times

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