In March of 2019 the Center on Addiction, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting families struggling with substance use and addiction, published Uncovering Coverage Gaps II: A Review of Addiction Benefits in ACA Plans. A follow up to their 2016 report of the same name, this new report reviews and compares the addiction benefits in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans for all 50 states.
This most recent report was an eye-opener, both for what coverage was available through the state plans, but even more so, what was omitted.
Here to further our understanding of the 2019 report, is the Center on Addiction health law and policy director, Lindsey Vuolo. Lindsey is the research lead on the adequacy of SUD benefits offered in the ACA health plans, an expert on federal and state responses to the opioid crisis, and author of (Ending the Opioid Crisis: A Practical Guide for State Policymakers).
Drawing on her extensive experience in legal, regulatory, and policy work related to addiction prevention and treatment, Lindsey shares her discoveries of the essential coverage gaps in the ACA plans nationwide, and provides her insights regarding the current state of addiction health care coverage and policy in America.
Listen to today’s podcast for an extra-informative episode on your state’s addiction coverage, featuring Lindsey Vuolo.
When a key member of the government’s legal team went to work for the pharmaceutical industry, the job of diversion control enforcement changed dramatically. In this episode, Mr. Joseph Rannazzisi, who for over a decade, was the front man in the government’s battle against the opioid epidemic, shares a first-hand account of what happened when Congress took the word of an industry attorney over an agency that was actually enforcing the law.
Today, in the third part of our 4-part series, you’ll hear more of Mr. Rannazzisi’s unfiltered comments on the passage of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Enforcement Act and the Congressional leaders behind it. “This doesn’t ensure patient access and it doesn’t help drug enforcement at all. What this bill does has nothing to do with the medical process. What this bill does is take away DEA’s ability to go after a pharmacist, a wholesaler, manufacturer or distributor,” he said. “This was a gift. A gift to the industry.”
Greg is joined on this episode by guest, award-winning author of “American Overdose”, Chris McGreal. McGreal’s book is a comprehensive portrait of the greed, corruption and indifference that led our country into the worst health crisis in American history. Additionally, Mr. McGreal is an investigative journalist for the Guardian, who in 2016, wrote a compelling story about Mr. Rannazzisi titled “Opioid epidemic: ex-DEA official says Congress is protecting drug makers.”
Listen to this podcast, the third in our 4 part series, for more candid conversation with the former head of the Department of Diversion Control for the DEA, Mr. Joseph Rannazzisi.