“The epidemic began not with an outbreak, but with a business plan,” Montana Attorney General Timothy Fox said in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Lewis and Clark County state court. The suit claims Purdue violated state laws on consumer protection and unfair trade practices by misrepresenting the likelihood that long-term use of its opioids, including its signature drug OxyContin, would lead to addiction.
.. Montana joins more than a dozen other states that have individually sued drug manufacturers and distributors, including New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico and Kentucky.
.. The suit seeks reimbursement for money the state spent on opioid treatments and addiction treatment through state Medicaid and other health plans.
Just 16 states have adequate backup money on hand, with Alaska having almost three times as much as the state would need to keep its economy buoyant.
STATE EXTRA CASH ON HAND NECESSARY BACKUP FUNDS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXTRA CASH AND NECESSARY BACK-UP FUNDS Louisiana 3.10% 27.20% -24.00% North Dakota 0.70% 20.10% -19.40% Oklahoma 4.00% 16.00% -12.10% New Mexico -1.10% 10.00% -11.10% Illinois 0.40% 11.10% -10.70% Colorado 5.30% 15.10% -9.80% New Jersey 1.40% 11.00% -9.60% Pennsylvania -1.80% 6.90% -8.80% Missouri 5.40% 13.80% -8.40% Kansas 1.60% 9.20% -7.60%
What an irony it is that one of the Republican arguments made now for preserving ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is the opioid crisis. Even after the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Medicaid’s expansion was optional, some Republican governors got hooked on the promise of federal cash flow to the horizon.
.. Medicaid has become most states’ second biggest budget outlay, behind K-12 education.
.. Medicaid “works” only if no one notices it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. The Peters getting robbed to make Medicaid work include doctors who are supposed to serve this population.
.. Medicaid paid physicians on average 66 percent of what Medicare paid for services, down from 72 percent in 2008.
.. Medicaid is already a fiscal ruin and lowest-common-denominator medicine. Advocates say it’s better than nothing for the poor or uninsured, but well-controlled studies put even that claim in doubt.