What Trump’s Presidency Means for Addiction, Recovery and Drug Treatment

Trump's Presidency and AddictionDonald Trump’s Presidency has arguably created more protest and more division in the United States than any other presidency before him.  So called “peaceful” protests have broken out all over the streets in various cities shortly after the election and the closest of friends have become hostile towards one another because of political differences of opinion.  More relevant to this community, a large portion of the overall online recovery community is angry and worried as to what this could mean for addicts getting help and addiction treatment. So how does trump’s presidency and addiction relate?

In late October of 2016 Donald Trump presented what his first 100 days in office would look like at a campaign stop in Gettysburg.  Amongst his top priorities was working to eliminate Obamacare.  The Republican-held House of Representatives have been trying to accomplish this for years but was always blocked by the largely Democratic-held Senate.  After Tuesday’s election, power has shifted in favor of the Republicans with Donald Trump in the White House.  So if Trump still plans to abolish Obamacare, the likelihood of this happening has significantly increased.

How Eliminating Obamacare Will Affect Drug and Heroin Addicts?

Trump's Presidency and AddictionMany people don’t have a full understanding and appreciation of the wealth of benefits Obamacare is currently providing.  Likewise, many young people have no memory of what life and insurance used to be like before Obamacare was developed and implemented.  Long story short, eliminating Obamacare will likely be a big shock for the masses and create major issues for suffering addicts who need and want addiction help and treatment.

An addict will lose any medical coverage they have under their parent’s insurance, which they currently get to enjoy until the age of 26.  Going out to obtain their own policy won’t be an option because they will likely be denied due to a “pre-existing medical condition”.  Anyone with a substance use disorder or SUD diagnosis in their medical history will likely be denied coverage and thus, be refused insurance.

If Trump eliminates Obamacare, children will only be covered under their mom or dad’s premium insurance policy until they are 18 years old or while they are a full time student.  Any addict between 18 and 26 years old will likely be denied insurance coverage, which will significantly limit their options for treatment.

Get Rid of Obamacare, Reduce an Addict’s Chance at Treatment at a Top Notch Drug Rehab Facility

Trump's Presidency and AddictionAddicts between 18 and 26 who once had the ability to get treatment anywhere in the United States through their mom or dad’s private PPO insurance policy will now be limited to what they can afford out of pocket.  The exception of course is if they are eligible for their own policy but anyone with a medical history of substance use disorder can and will likely be denied insurance coverage.

For those who manage to acquire medical insurance, it’s likely going to cost a small fortune.  Premiums (how much you pay per month) will be ridiculously expensive and deductibles (what you have to pay out of pocket before insurance will even pay a nickel) are going to be huge.

Obamacare is great for those who really need and benefit from it.  But like most things in life, Obamacare was often exploited and abused by the corrupt, which is likely why so many want to do away with it.

Corruption and Fraud Related to Obamacare

Trump's Presidency and AddictionWhile there are clear advantages of Obamacare, Obamacare provided addicts (and unethical addiction treatment center / drug rehab facilities) with an easy way to commit insurance fraud.  Dishonest addicts and less than reputable drug rehab facilities got a lot for free (paid for by the insurance company and by Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer).

For example, some younger addicts who may have been sent to South Florida to get treatment have been purposely relapsing upon release so they could continue living near the beach on the insurance company’s (and the working man’s) dime.

Health insurance marketplaces (also called health exchanges) gave addiction treatment centers an excuse to fraudulently bill insurance companies hundreds of dollars for urine and drug tests.  Because of this, less than ethical treatment centers would buy patients an airline ticket so they could sign them up for a Florida marketplace policy.  An insurance marketplace is an organization(s) that’s been setup to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in every state accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare.  Getting rid of Obamacare will eliminate insurance marketplaces.

Because Obamacare was so easy to exploit, many South Florida addiction treatment centers (who have since ruined their reputation) have committed a lot of insurance fraud.  In fact insurance fraud and corruption was so widespread that Cigna stopped writing exchange policies in Florida.  Two addiction treatment center owners were recently arrested and charged with patient brokering – paying referral fees (also called a kickback) to sober living homes for addicts with good insurance policies.

The Few Always Ruin it for the Masses

I’m a firm believer that most politicians don’t do away with something good (like Obamacare) because they are mean, corrupt and evil.  They do it because it just didn’t work – or the disadvantages to them, far outweighed the benefits.  Now I’m not suggesting that Obamacare should be eliminated.  But I do feel strongly that Obamacare is far too easy to exploit and that policies need to be established and implemented that prevent corruption and fraud in the future.  There are FAR too many people who need help and the few who are abusing Obamacare (such as recovering addicts who purposely relapse so they can continue to live near the beach in South Florida on the insurance policy’s dime) are ruining it for the masses who desperately need and want help conquering their addiction and nothing more..

Will the Mental Health Parity Act Protect Addicts Seeing Recovery?

Trump's Presidency and AddictionThe mental health parity act is the equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders in insurance plans.  In other words, if an insurance plan has a parity, if you are provided unlimited doctor visits for a chronic condition like diabetes, then the policy must also offer unlimited visits for mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and substance use disorder (SUD).  A parity doesn’t necessarily mean that policies have to provide the best coverage.  It only means it has to provide equal coverage.  At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.  Paying for insurance policies with higher premiums will likely provide you with better coverage.

Sadly, parity only protects addicts who have insurance.  And as we’ve already discussed, eliminating Obamacare means that anyone between 18 and 26 who are covered under their mom’s or dad’s insurance will lose it.  Furthermore, anyone who has at anytime been diagnosed with a substance use disorder will likely be denied coverage for having a “pre-existing condition”.

Parity became law in 2008 but wasn’t totally implemented for years after.  It wasn’t until Obamacare’s parity requirements that insurance companies began abiding by the law.  This meant that insurance companies were prohibited in limiting the number of times an addict went into treatment in the same way they couldn’t limit the number of times a cancer patient received chemotherapy.

By Eliminating Obamacare, Parity Dies

If parity dies, addicts will have only one shot at treatment covered by insurance, assuming you are amongst the smaller group of individuals who even still have insurance if Obamacare is eliminated.

Conclusion

Eliminating Obamacare will likely put a stop to a lot of the corruption in the drug addiction treatment profession.  Regrettably however, it will also significantly limit resources for addicts who genuinely want and need addiction help.

Sources

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-matters/2016/11/what-the-trump-presidency-means-for-addicts/

http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition/Understanding-Health-Insurance/What-is-Mental-Health-Parity

Written and Published by William – Founder and Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™

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8 thoughts on “What Trump’s Presidency Means for Addiction, Recovery and Drug Treatment

  1. I don’t believe your article addresses that AHCA is not affordable. Rates have doubled unless you are low income. The new presidency will address the strengths and weaknesses of Affordable Healthcare and make the changes that are necessary and keep what is good. It will take a few years before the changes will take place so I don’t think panic should set in.

    • Capri,

      Thanks for sharing your comments on our heroin addiction and recovery blog. I do agree that nobody should panic while we wait to see what happens. I do agree that there are pros and cons, which has been addressed in the article. The point of the article really wasn’t to touch on every political issue however I did mention in the article that most politicians don’t eliminate something good because they’re evil or mean, but because something about it just isn’t working. I suppose I could have added a specific section about why Trump doesn’t support Obamacare but it seemed to go a bit too far off course for what I was intending for the article. But I do appreciate your comments and the fact that you brought it up here.

      Best wishes,

      William

  2. Pingback: Wake Up America, People Are Dying - Addicts Are Not "Junkies", They are Sick and Need Help! - Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide

  3. I disagree with your article. It’s the open boarders, drug lords, doctor abuse of rx, not healthcare insurance that need to change. Insurance is only good for those that have it. Drug abusers don’t usually have it. The treatment centers, clinics etc are more interested in making a dollar than treating the users. Sad, but a person who WANTS treatment waits, struggles for the opportunity to get treatment. Real insurance will provide for the citizens of this country and not worry about all the crap about political correctness. Stop the influx of drugs, educate people and doctors about abusers and take the money out of treatment, that will help our sons and daughters. This is an epidemic, no insurance should be required.

    • Beth,

      Thank you for your comments. A square has 4 sides and 4 corners. If you attack a square at one side, there are still 3 additional sides. What you are talking about is just attacking a different side of the heroin epidemic. They are equally important and attacking one doesn’t make the other one less important. Healthcare insurance is definitely a problem and even if you don’t think it is, it doesn’t change the relevance and truth in the article.

      Best wishes,

      William – Publisher of this Community

    • Beth you a lot. You obviously don’t know addict. Most of them actually are trying to quit. Different stages and the insurance helped. You must work for health care insurance. Of course some of the problems are the heath insurance. In fact I bet it’s 50/50 insurance has outrageous rates huge Co pays and very limited services. That right is most of the problems. I’m at a loose for words at your statement “insurance is one good if you have it” WHAT? OK is it work better if I don’t have it? Lol I’m sorry but what are you saying?lol moving on. The no charge is socialist, which if Americans would actually Google “Socialized Medicine ” and Goggle Canada, Cuba, England learn the Heath care programs and actually talked to people from those countries. I mean don’t ask your Congress or your doctor. They give a dark gloomy answer. My sister lives in London if she gets a cold or something minor the doctor comes to the house. How about that cool . They do more house calls than doctors office keeping people at home instead of in public keeps down the amount of colds passing around. Cuba the same has the highest quality care in the world one of. It’s state of the art. Amazing! The people are poor but and fit and healthy.

      • Thomas,

        I’m afraid I don’t know exactly what you’re trying to say. You said “you obviously don’t know addict(s)”. As a recovering addict and the publisher of this community, I’d say I know them very well. And I disagree that “most addicts are trying to quit”. Only 1 in 10 addicts get addiction treatment. Furthermore, those that do try, there’s a 50% chance that they will go back to active addiction. There’s a 70% or 80% chance that a recovering addict will have at least one small relapse or slip during their recovery.

        Nothing you are saying makes sense nor is it relevant to the article. The article points out how Donald Trump may affect those who need treatment. Thus, nothing you are saying is relevant to this article. But thanks for your comment anyway.

        Best wishes,

        William – Publisher of this Community

  4. So many of our young kids a dying in the street from a drug overdose drug treatment centers and Facilities I miss credited because some of those who played the system those of us who are honest and abide by all traditions of the how’s the requirements mandated by insurance companies are the losers gets shut down the ones who really care cannot afford to stay in business why isn’t insurance companies the man responsibilities I’ve sometimes 15000 + 22000 to be paid by the client what is the purpose of an insurance and the payouts from the insurance Obama gave them too much power to be able to deny knowing themselves the present condition of the client’s City before doctor to treatment center and claim they’re not to going to cover expenses to detox and treatment centers and the best of the client’s interest not on the other astronomical deductibles patient responsibility but also pay nothing for the provider web sometimes only 15% paid to the facility what does not cover its functions

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