“We are very disappointed that the House passed the American Health Care Act today. We firmly believe that equitable access to a full continuum of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including medications to treat substance use disorders and mental illness, must be an essential component of health care coverage.
Unfortunately, the proposed changes to our health care system under the American Health Care Act will result in reductions in health care coverage and access to these treatment services. More than 20 million Americans currently have health care coverage due to the Affordable Care Act, including millions of Americans with substance use disorders and mental illness. This coverage is a critical lifeline for these individuals.
Rolling back the Medicaid expansion and fundamentally changing Medicaid’s financing structure to cap spending on health care services will certainly reduce access to evidence-based treatments and reverse much or all progress made on the opioid crisis last year. The cost of the opioid epidemic is already too high; reducing access to coverage and care will put millions of lives at risk.
We urge the Senate to remember the millions of Americans suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness who may lose their health care coverage entirely or see reductions in benefits that impede access to needed treatment when considering the AHCA.”