Articles Posted in Health care law

opioid-300x200DOJ Takes a Step That Could Help in The Opioid Crisis

This week the Justice Department made a big move that could be a game changer for the nation’s opioid crisis. According to Cleveland.com, the DOJ will make a large swath of data on painkillers available, hoping the intel will be used in the fight against big pharma.

The DOJ has made its position clear when it comes to chasing after the legal makers and distributors of these drugs. Attorney General Jeff Sessions even went so far to create an Opioid Fraud Unit in order to target 12 federal districts the DOJ believes have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. The Opioid Fraud Unit uses data to find and target doctors or clinics they suspect are overprescribing opioids. They also want to go after pharmacists who are not properly distributing the pills. But with the release of this new data, they are hoping to help with settlement talks between the drug companies and the local governments suing them over the nation’s opioid epidemic.

After the Congressional Budget Office released its assessment of the American Health Care Act predicting an increase of 24 million Americans without health insurance by 2026, there was an interesting response from Senate Republicans. They suggested certain changes to the bill which, they said, would increase the chances of it being approved by the Senate. First, they want to see lower insurance costs for the poorer, older Americans and second an increase in funding for states with higher populations of hard to insure people.

The Governors of most all of the states, including Republican Governors voiced their anxiety about dealing with the bill’s proposed roll back on Medicaid expansion which would leave the poor with fewer dollars.

Because the bill is being pushed towards votes so quickly, what is obviously missing is a reasoned, articulated  and fulsome analyses of the various components of the law, explained in plain english and supported through real data as well as anecdotal examples. The reason this type of communication is so important is that Congress,  healthcare and insurance communities and the public at large must come to know this law. This means that thoughtful modeling and clear explanations are key. It has not happened.