Vermont Governor Urges Congress to Expand Recovery Options
Speaking on Capitol Hill this week, Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) urged Congress to expand opioid addiction treatment under Medicare.
As reported by VTDigger.org, Scott and VT Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille appeared before a subcommittee of House Ways and Means to testify on Vermont’s experience combating the opioid crisis.
Loosening restrictions that currently bar the Medicare program from covering substance abuse services, like those offered through Vermont’s hub and spoke system, could help fight the opioid addiction crisis, they told the committee.
“If you want to break down the stigma, this is one way to do it,” Scott said. “Treat them the same.”
“We have to embrace this as a chronic condition, and then if we do we should make Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers treat this as an essential health benefit, like we would kidney disease,” Gobeille said.
Vermont is in the process of seeking to expand Medicare’s coverage of opioid addiction treatment in the state. State officials have reached out to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for support of a proposed pilot program in Vermont that would allow Medicare to cover services through the hub and spoke system and others, according to Gobeille.
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To read more about Governor Phil Scott’s testimony on Capitol Hill, please visit VTDigger.org.