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Senators want to remove Medicaid addiction treatment barrier

May 18, 2017
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's two U.S. senators are joining with a bipartisan group to introduce legislation designed to expand access to substance abuse treatment for people who use Medicaid.

The proposal is called the Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion Act, or the Medicaid CARE Act. Its supporters say it would boost addiction treatment services to help fight the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, are joining Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman and West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito in making the proposal.

The senators say their proposal would change the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion, which limits Medicaid coverage for substance abuse treatment facilities with less than 16 beds. They say the barrier is outdated.



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