GOP adds $45 billion in opioid money to healthcare bill

GOP adds $45 billion in opioid money to healthcare bill
© Getty Images

Senate Republicans are adding $45 billion to their ObamaCare replacement bill to fight opioid abuse, according to sources familiar with the discussions. 

The move was widely expected as an attempt to win over moderate Republicans like Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race Overnight Tech: Regulators to look at trading in bitcoin futures | Computer chip flaws present new security problem | Zuckerberg vows to improve Facebook in 2018 MORE (Ohio) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP may increase IRS’s budget People with addiction issues should be able to control their own health data Trump signs bipartisan bill to combat synthetic opioids MORE (W.Va.), who have both made the opioid epidemic a priority. 

But both Portman and Capito have said that their concerns extend beyond opioid money to the deep cuts the legislation would make to Medicaid.

ADVERTISEMENT
Capito said explicitly earlier this week that more opioid money would not be enough to win her over. 

“More opioid funding would be very good and very beneficial, but the core for me is the Medicaid provision,” Capito said.

The change to the bill was first reported by Politico. 

Sources say Republicans are also looking to expand the use of health savings accounts in the bill. Those are tax-free accounts people can use for medical expenses and are favored by conservatives. But conservatives have pushed for more than simply an HSA change to win their votes. 

Rachel Roubein contributed.