- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - A claim by President Donald Trump from his speech to Congress and how it stacks up with the facts:

TRUMP: “We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth - and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.”

THE FACTS: Addicts and mentally ill people who gained access to treatment programs for the first time as a result of the Obama-era health care law are worried about the consequences if it’s repealed as Trump calls for. Repeal could end coverage for 1.8 million people who have undergone addiction or mental health treatment, and cut $5.5 billion in spending on such services, according to estimates by economist Richard Frank, a former Obama administration official now at Harvard Medical School.

The key question is what will happen to Medicaid as a result of changes Republicans are pursuing. Broadly speaking, Republicans want to transform the health insurance program for low-income people from an open-ended federal entitlement to a system that provides states with a limited amount of financing and gives them latitude on how to spend it.

If Congress is too stingy with the state allotments, states would be hampered dealing with emergencies like the opioid epidemic.


Contributed by Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Carla Johnson



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