Addiction Treatment to Gain Big Boost Under Obamacare

Health care is a controversial and complex issue, especially now as political wrangling is hitting full tilt in states that are reluctant to accept Medicaid expansion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Today, only one penny of every dollar that is spent on health care will go to assist a person facing debilitating addiction issues. For states that have accepted the healthcare overhaul offered by the Obama administration, which was signed into law in 2010, millions more addicts will become eligible for insurance coverage. “There is no illness currently being treated that will be more affected by the Affordable Care Act than addiction,” said Tom McLellan, CEO of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute and President Barack Obama’s former deputy drug czar. “That’s because we have a system of treatment that was built for a time when they didn’t understand that addiction was an illness.” While the coverage is there for these addicts, it will be up to them to seek out help. If everyone addicted who doesn’t currently have insurance takes advantage of the new healthcare law, the numbers of people seeking treatment could double. To keep up with the growing number of Americans seeking help with their drug and alcohol problems, it’s likely that education facilities will feel the pressure to increase the number of programs that train students to deal with addiction issues. According to some studies, the number of doctors specializing in addiction treatment is at about half of where it needs to be to keep up with the demand. With only 10 percent of addicted individuals seeking treatment, it’s obvious that doubling that statistic will necessitate massive growth in the number of health care professionals available to lend a hand.  With the increase in coverage for addiction resources, more Americans will be able to seek treatment.

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