“As Florida’s lawmakers grapple with the opioid crisis, one U.S. representative says there’s a correlation between states that expanded Medicaid through Obamacare and states affected the worst by the epidemic.
Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz shared this factoid on Twitter on Oct. 17: “Opioid crisis the worst in ObamaCare expansion states!”
Gaetz’s claim quoted a Tucker Carlson tweet that questioned if “big pharma” is responsible for Congress’ inaction toward the opioid crisis.
Information supplied by Gaetz’s office rests on the notion that patients in states that expanded Medicaid through Obamacare have more access to legal prescriptions that fuel the opioid epidemic. Experts said the theory ignores critical facts and does not take into account the other factors that have led to an increase in opioid deaths.
“It is important to avoid confusing association with causation,” said David A. Fiellin, a professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “Just because one event (Medicaid expansion) occurred during a period of increasing opioid deaths, many from illicit sources doesn’t mean that it caused the increase in deaths.”
Source: Politifact.com – October 23, 2017