Newswires
Clinton Proposes Huge $7.5B Federal Addiction Treatment Fund  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

09/08/2015 -ATIN - As an opiate crisis sweeps through the middle class like never before in this country's history, with heroin cheaper and more powerful than ever while prescription narcotics have become exorbitantly expensive on the street due to "pill mill" crackdowns about five years ago, it has been predicted that as the presidential election nears next November that access to addiction care would possibly become a big issue nationally, also like never before. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, said last week that as she shows up in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that kick off the campaigns by holding their primaries the earliest, that she is confronted literally everywhere she goes about the issue of a lack of treatment options.

Stunned By Depth of Voter Concern

Stunned by the breadth and depth of the issue, Clinton announced via an editorial written in New Hampshire's leading daily newspaper a few days ago a $10B federal plan that would, if voted up by Congress in its entirety, increase the amount of funds flowing into the treatment market by some one quarter and in one fell swoop make the governments, both state and federal, once again the major players they used to be in treatment as late as ten years ago before the Big Recession and pre Lehman Bros. In the plan's written outline, Clinton proposes $7.5B of the $10B in new money be directed toward treatment, with the rest toward enforcement. Since Nixon initiated the War on Drugs in the 1970s, typically that ratio has been reversed, with about 75 percent going toward enforcement and 25 percent going toward treatment. To gauge the size of just how much $7.5B in new money is to the treatment market consider that the total national market is about 1 percent of healthcare, or estimated at about $35B a year, with total federal grants toward outpatient and residential care currently at just $2B to $3B annually. In other words, if Clinton is elected and implements her addiction care plan it will be among the most important developments in the 150 year history of the U.S. addiction treatment marketplace.

Enforce ‘Parity', Federal/State Grant Fund

According to the plan, Clinton will "make sure that everybody can get the continuing support they need by expanding in-patient and out-patient services, increasing the pipeline of trained providers, mobilizing peer recovery coaches and fully enforcing our mental health and addiction parity laws so that insurance practices are no longer a barrier to treatment!" The $7.5B will be spent as part of a federal/state partnership grant fund whereby if a state showed a comprehensive plan to treat addiction it would be eligible for $4 in federal grant funding for every $1 that state agreed to commit to treatment.

Can We Get More?

Knowing that a politician fighting for office likes nothing better than to jump on an opponent's bandwagon and steal their thunder by one-upping them, it is likely that other candidates will offer their own plans to throw money and effort at addiction care markets, a happy event as the industry has lolled in the backwater of healthcare ever since the introduction of managed care in the early 1990s and the utter failure and sometimes downright corruption of the marketplace as it boomed in the 1980s with the introduction during that period of the standard  28-days of  residential care annually embedded into most middle class private health insurance plans.

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Ted Jackson

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