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naadac opposes senate health repeal

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 7 — NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals issued the following news release:

NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, joined 66 other leading organizations and national experts in the field of addiction policy, research, and treatment, in issuing a joint statement opposing the Senate’s healthcare repeal plan, warning that it would undermine efforts to address the opioid crisis and significantly worsen the public health epidemic. The statement will be delivered to all United States Senators:

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage is Critical to Stemming Opioid Crisis Addiction Experts Oppose BCRA

Our nation’s escalating opioid crisis – with more than 144 people dying every day from overdose – will not abate without access to comprehensive substance use disorder treatment in private insurance and Medicaid. The Senate’sversion of healthcare repeal would massively undermine national efforts to address this public health epidemic.

No time-limited infusion of federal dollars for addiction treatment can fill the gaping coverage and financing holes, meet the unmet need for substance use treatment, or prevent the significant disruption in health care delivery that will result under the enactment of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Research has clearly shown that substance use disorders are complex, chronic medical conditions, best treated with comprehensive and integrated care. Until the passage of the Affordable Care Act, substance use disorders were financed and treated separately from the rest of healthcare, largely through government funded block grants. This produced a truly segregated, seriously under-resourced system that contributed to the current addiction epidemic in this country and perpetuated discrimination.

Separate funding to address the opioid crisis will not meet the overarching healthcare needs of patients struggling with addiction, who often have numerous co-occurring health problems that must also be addressed. It will not adequately support prevention for SUDs, nor the long-term recovery management that is indicated for chronic medical illnesses.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that BCRA would cut Medicaid funding by $772 billion, as the bill would impose caps on federal Medicaid funds and end the Medicaid expansion. These changes would mean that millions of people with substance use disorders would lose coverage for lifesaving treatment. Approximately half of Medicaid enrollees have substance use or mental health disorders, and Medicaid pays for approximately 30% of the cost of medications to treat addiction. Countless people who are currently in treatment and on the road to recovery would lose access to the critical services needed to maintain their health. The rate of opioid fatality would sharply rise.

The BCRA will end significant progress in creating a stable and sustainable financing structure for substance use treatment through Medicaid and private insurance, stripping away addiction coverage from millions of Americans who desperately need it. Further, it would reinstate discriminatory coverage of substance use treatment by allowing states to waive such benefits in Essential Health Benefit-based plans and reinstate underwriting for pre-existing conditions making coverage for addiction treatment unaffordable for many Americans.

The Senate healthcare repeal plan, which would leave 22 million Americans uninsured, is untenable. It will be particularly devastating to millions of Americans who have complex or pre-existing conditions, including substance use disorders. If enacted, the BCRA would undercut our national efforts to stem the opioid crisis, dramatically cutting funding for critical life-saving treatments.

The undersigned individuals and institutions represent leaders in the field of addiction care, research and policy. We urge Congress to reject this harmful legislation. The devastation caused by the Senate bill will not be ameliorated by a short-term infusion of grant funding to address the opioid epidemic.

Paul Samuels, JD


Legal Action Center

Michael Botticelli

Executive Director, Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine

Boston Medical Center

Former Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

Patty McCarthy Metcalf

Executive Director

Faces & Voices of Recovery

Susan P. Brown

Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer;

Director of Finance and Administration

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

Chuck Ingoglia

Sr. Vice President, Public Policy and Practice Improvement

National Council for Behavioral Health

Roberta Carlin, M.S., J.D

Executive Director

American Association on Health and Disability

Kelly J. Clark, MD, MBA,


American Society of Addiction Medicine

A. Thomas McLellan, PhD

Founder, Treatment Research Institute

Former Deputy Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

Kathryn Cates-Wessel


American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry

Grant Smith

Deputy Director

National Affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP

Executive Director

NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals

Jim Hood, Co-Founder and CEO

Greg Williams, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President

Facing Addiction

Emalie Huriaux, MPH

Director of Federal & State Affairs, Project Inform Chair,

California Hepatitis Alliance

Pamela F. Rodriguez

President & CEO

TASC, Inc. (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities)

Kathleen O’Brien, PhD


The Maryland Addictions Directors Council

Hollis Pickett


Local Area Support For Hepatitis (LASH)

Tim Clement

Senior Policy Advisor

The Kennedy Forum

Ronald Manderscheid

Executive Director

NACBHDD – National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors NARMH – National Association for Rural Mental Health

Marcia Lee Taylor

Chief Policy Officer Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Mark W. Parrino, M.P.A.


American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD)

Daniel Raymond

Deputy Director of Planning and Policy, Harm Reduction Coalition

Alice Dembner

Program Director, Substance Use Disorders and Justice-Involved Populations

Community Catalyst

Gary Mendell Founder and CEO Shatterproof

Robert Heimer, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS

Alison Oliveto, Ph.D.

Program Director, Clinical Trials Innovation Unit Translational Research Institute

Professor and Vice Chair for Research Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director, Center for Addiction Research University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

David C. Perlman, MD

Professor of Medicine and Chief, Infectious Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Chief, Infectious Diseases, Mount Sinai Beth Israel

Lois Petty

SEP Site Manager

SLO Bangers Syringe Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program

Richard Hawks, PhD

Deputy Director, Division of Treatment Research and Development, Retired

National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH

Marguerite Beiser, ANP-BC

Director of HCV Services

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Avik Chatterjee, MD

Physician, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Jo L. Sotheran, PhD

MARS Project

Scott Burris

Professor and Director

Center for Public Health Law Research

Temple University Beasley School of Law

Lucy M. Candib, M.D.


Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Henry R. Kranzler, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry

Director, Center for Studies of Addiction University of Pennsylvania

Perelman School of Medicine

Elizabeth Spradley, Nurse

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Shira Shavit, MD

Executive Director, Transitions Clinic Network Associate Clinical Professor

University of California, San Francisco

Brendan Saloner, PhD

Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Thomas Miller


Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare

Sally Bachofer, MD

Associate Professor

Department of Family & Community Medicine

University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Mishka Terplan

Professor Departments Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry

Virginia Commonwealth University

Diane C. Feirman, CAE

Public Affairs Senior Director

American Group Psychotherapy Association

Aaron Arnold

Executive Director

Prevention Point Pittsburgh

Demetrius Marcoulides, RN MSNc

Founder & Director

Nursing Students for Harm Reduction

Colleen M. Grogan

Professor, School of Social Service Administration

University of Chicago

James K. Rowlett, Ph.D.


University of Mississippi Medical Center

John Cawley

Professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Professor, Department of Economics

Co-Director, Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors and Disparities

Cornell University

Tricia Wright, MD MS FACOG FASAM

Associate Professor Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’sHealth Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry

University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine

Kim Brown, RN


QC Harm Reduction

Tom Coderre

Senior Advisor

Altarum Institute

Victor Capoccia

Former Team Leader, Addiction Prevention and Treatment

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Howard Josepher



Wendy Armstrong, MD

Chair of the Board, HIV Medicine Association

Nancy Rosen Cohen

Executive Director, Maryland Chapter

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Wayne Wirta

President/ CEO


Derek Hodel

Interim Executive Director

Drug Policy Alliance

Jerry Douglas MD

Chief Medical Officer

Hillside Health Center

Hannah Watson MD

Maternal Child and Reproductive Health Fellow

University of New Mexico Hospital

Keith Brown, MPH

Director, Health & Harm Reduction

Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice

Annie Herriott, M.S., MSW

Doctoral Candidate

Boston University School of Social Work

Amanda Latimore, PhD

Director of Social Epidemiology and Evaluation

Behavioral Health System Baltimore

Bruce G. Trigg, MD

Addiction medicine and public health consultant

Paul Pentel

Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology

Hennepin County Medical Center, Mpls, MN

Matt Slonaker, JD

Executive Director

Utah Health Policy Project

Orlando Chavez

Health Systems Navigator, HIV/HepC Prevention and Harm Reduction Services


Jason Grebely BSc PhD

Associate Professor

Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia

NHMRC Career Development Fellow


International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU)

Cyndee Clay

Executive Director


Joseph Rogers

Executive Director

National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse

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