'It saved my life': Talk of Obamacare repeal worries addicts

Obamacare repeal could end coverage for 1.8 million people who received treatment

By Adam Beam - Carla K. Johnson
Published February 22, 2017 12:07PM (EST)
In a Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 photo, Tyler Witten peers through a window at the Sanibel House, a residential addiction center in Catlettsburg, Ky. Witten, a former opioid addict, has gone through an addiction program and now works as a weekend staffer at the house. The house and other centers are operated by Addiction Recovery Care, which is seeing many new patients who are covered under Kentuckys Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan) (AP)
In a Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 photo, Tyler Witten peers through a window at the Sanibel House, a residential addiction center in Catlettsburg, Ky. Witten, a former opioid addict, has gone through an addiction program and now works as a weekend staffer at the house. The house and other centers are operated by Addiction Recovery Care, which is seeing many new patients who are covered under Kentuckys Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan) (AP)

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — Drug addicts caught up in the nation's opioid-abuse crisis are worried about what will happen if the Trump administration makes good on its promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

By one estimate, repeal could end coverage for 1.8 million people who received treatment for addiction or mental health problems.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act want to junk the Obama-era law and replace it because of rising premiums, dwindling choices and the measure's tax penalties.

Some Republican governors say drug addicts have nothing to fear and that Medicaid will continue to cover treatment after the repeal of "Obamacare."

But people like Erika Lindgren of Pittsburgh are nervous. She credits the health care law with quickly getting her into a 26-day rehab program in 2015. She says she's scared to death of losing coverage.


Adam Beam

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