The United States is experiencing the largest drug epidemic in its history, reports Julia Lurie, with approximately 2.5 million Americans addicted to opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers.
“President Donald Trump has particularly strong support in areas that have been hit hard by the crisis,” nots Lurie. “Yet if Obamacare is repealed… thousands of Americans would lose access to their daily or weekly treatment for opioid addiction.”
As historian Kathleen Frydl points out in The Drug Wars in America, in nearly every Ohio and Pennsylvania county with high drug overdose rates, Trump garnered 10 points higher than Romney did in 2012: “When you’re dealing with counties that have overflowing hospital parking lots, the message that America is already great doesn’t resonate with people,” she says.
Before the ACA went into effect, a third of individual market insurance policies didn’t cover substance abuse treatment, notes Lurie.
And yet, states with the highest overdose rates also rely on Obamacare most, which means that if the ACA were to be repealed the rate of uninsured residents in states like West Virginia, Kentucky and New Hampshire would roughly triple.