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The opioid crisis is getting a lot of attention from the US government.
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STILWELL, Okla. -- One of my favorite quotes from our late president Ronald Reagan is, “We are from the government and we’re here to help.”

While the statement is humorous, there is much truth to it.

Over the past several weeks there has been much in the news about the opioid painkiller abuse in our nation. It is a sad fact that some people are more prone to addiction than others, but when more illegal sources of the drugs are on the street it makes the addiction problem worse.

The opioids are the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50. Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, and fatalities are soaring.

I recently read an article about the link between the increase of opioid addiction and the states that went with the Medicaid expansion under the Obama healthcare law.

According to a federal Health and Human Services analysis the overdose deaths per million residents rose twice as fast in the 29 Medicaid expansion states—those that increased eligibility to 138 percent from 100 percent of the poverty line—than in the 21 non-expansion states between 2013 and 2015.  

When comparing statistics from neighboring states, the results should cause our elected leaders to think twice about expanding any entitlement programs. Deaths increased twice as much in New Hampshire (108%) and Maryland (44 percent)—expansion states—than in Maine (55 percent) and Virginia (22 percent). Drug fatalities shot up by 41 percent in Ohio while only climbing 3 percent in non-expansion Wisconsin.

I have found that many people have a hard time understanding what is causing these numbers. According to an interview of a police officer in Wisconsin, he contends 240 Oxycodone pills can be purchased with a Medicaid card for a $1 co-pay and resold for $4,000 on the street.

According to the interview a single Vicodin pill can be sold for $50. Just a couple days ago I was talking to my family doctor about this topic and he was not surprised in the least about the findings. He said that he had experienced patients trying to do the same as in the article.

While all of the do-gooders in our government think they are doing great things by expanding Medicaid, in essence they are setting up the environment to promote addiction.

Either the people are getting hooked on cheap drugs or they are getting addicted to the easy cash from selling pain killers on the black market.

All across our nation states are clamoring for more money to create treatment programs for the addicted; that may be fine, but first we need to take a hard look at the fraud in the current Medicaid system.

A wise man once told me if something is free it is awfully easy to get too much of it.

Another thing that would solve many of our problems is for the American people to wean themselves from the most dangerous addiction, that being government addiction. 

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Russell Turner
Russell Turner was born in Tahlequah Oklahoma and has lived his entire life in rural Adair...
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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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