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Experts: Saying Medicaid Expansion Worsened Opioid Crisis Is Confusing Association With Causation

“Just because one event [Medicaid expansion] occurred during a period of increasing opioid deaths, many from illicit sources doesn’t mean that it caused the increase in deaths,” says David A. Fiellin, a professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

PoliticoFact/Florida: No Evidence To Prove Medicaid Expansion Is Fueling The Opioid Crisis
As Florida’s lawmakers grapple with the opioid crisis, one U.S. representative says there’s a correlation between states that expanded Medicaid through Obamacare and states affected the worst by the epidemic. Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz shared this factoid on Twitter on Oct. 17: “Opioid crisis the worst in ObamaCare expansion states!” … Information supplied by Gaetz’s office rests on the notion that patients in states that expanded Medicaid through Obamacare have more access to legal prescriptions that fuel the opioid epidemic. Experts said the theory ignores critical facts and does not take into account the other factors that have led to an increase in opioid deaths. “It is important to avoid confusing association with causation,” said David A. Fiellin, a professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. (Grave, 10/23)

The Hill: White House To Host Opioid ‘Event’ Thursday
The White House will hold an event on the opioid epidemic Thursday afternoon, according to an email obtained by The Hill that suggests President Trump will make his announcement about a national emergency this week. The email, from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, is an invitation and a call to RSVP to an event at the White House on the “nationwide opioid crisis” at 2 p.m. Thursday. (Roubein, 10/23)

The Associated Press: Woman Indicted In Boy’s Fatal Drug Overdose At Sleepover
A woman has been indicted on involuntary manslaughter and child-endangering charges in the death of a 12-year-old boy who authorities say died from a fentanyl overdose during a sleepover at her Ohio apartment. The Franklin County prosecutor says the boy, Kanye Champelle, got the drug from atop a refrigerator and ingested it while the baby sitter was gone. The prosecutor says the woman, 60-year-old Sheila Hutchins, ran errands and left several children she was baby-sitting. (10/23)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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