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Is a new report linking Obamacare with the opioid epidemic sound science, or just politics as usual?

Last month, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin oversaw a committee session titled “Unintended Consequences: Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic.”

Johnson argued that the Medicaid expansion, which took effect in 2014 through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is partly to blame for the United States’ growing opioid epidemic.

“Overwhelming evidence shows that Medicaid has inadvertently contributed to the national tragedy that is the opioid epidemic and has taken a toll that is playing out in courtrooms across the nation,” states the report.

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Image By I created this SVG file based on the following, and changed the yellow line to green because the RGB yellow did not provide much contrast against a white background. Original by National Institute on Drug Abuse. And User:Timeshifter, who cropped the original chart, and added “USA” to it, put the adapted chart under the same public domain license. See Commons:Convert tables and charts to wiki code or image files, and the section about adding text to chart images. – based on File:US timeline. Prescription opioid pain reliever deaths.jpg, which is based on Chart from Overdose Death Rates. By National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54489042

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