By Ryan SeacrestHealth News staffA new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is asking if Congress is spending the money it is spending on the opioid crisis to get the drug off the market.
While the report states that Congress has “not spent a single penny” on preventing the drug from reaching Americans, the GAO notes that the government has already spent $1.6 billion to treat the epidemic, including $1 billion on opioid addiction treatment and $1 million on Medicaid.
The GAO says Congress is not doing enough to help those with substance use disorders (SUDs) get treatment and that more is needed to address the opioid epidemic.
It cites a GAO report that states that “there are approximately 30,000 people currently on treatment, and they’re still waiting for access to treatment.”
While the GAU’s report says that the average wait for treatment is nearly 10 months, it says that those on Medicaid are often waiting on a waiting list of six months to get treatment.
The report says the problem is getting worse as states expand Medicaid and the ACA expands coverage to more people.
“While we’ve been at the forefront of addressing opioid addiction and our efforts have been successful, we still have a long way to go to address this crisis and the billions of dollars that have already been spent,” GAO’s Robert Walker said in a statement.
The time has come to act, and we will do so in Congress.””
This is a crisis that has been ignored by the political class for too long.
The time has come to act, and we will do so in Congress.”
Walker said the report was critical for those who want to push Congress to help stop the crisis and help people access treatment.
“Congress must act now to ensure that we get the funding we need to address our nation’s opioid crisis, as well as expand access to affordable, quality care for people with addiction,” Walker said.