No, the opioid epidemic isn’t Medicaid’s fault

One of the nuttier recent political notions is that addiction to opioid pain relievers and related drugs can be blamed on Medicaid, and more specifically the Medicaid expansion introduced by the Affordable Care Act.

It seems somewhat plausible, I supposed, that people with no health insurance have a harder time seeing a doctor or paying for prescription pain relievers and hence don’t get addicted. But what this obviously overlooks is that people suffering chronic pain who can’t afford a doctor or prescription drugs may turn to street drugs out of desperation.

What we should really be looking at is the evidence, as Dr Aaron Carroll does succinctly in this six-minute video:


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