The Harford (Connecticut) Courant is reporting in their article “Insurers Pushing For Changes In Substance Abuse Battle” about how “insurance companies are pushing reforms that include encouraging suboxone-assisted recovery rather than abstinence, limiting pain-pill prescriptions and evaluating treatment programs based on their own outcomes.” Of course, Hartford is home to Cigna, one of the largest abusers of the profit-generating private health insurance system and complicit is denying coverage to thousands of Americans in desperate need of immediate care.
In the article, reporter Mara Lee reports:
Facing a surge in substance abuse claims — partly because more 19- to 26-year-olds have insurance — major insurers are trying to use their leverage to make dramatic changes in the nation’s substance abuse treatment system.
While alcohol remains the biggest substance-abuse problem, the proportion of claims that include opioids is climbing steadily, particularly among young adults and teenagers.
Cigna reports that opioid claims went from 20 percent of substance-abuse cases five years ago to 25 to 30 percent today. At Aetna over the last four years, the share of claims for treating drug and alcohol abuse has gone from 15 percent of mental health spending (outside of prescriptions) to 30 percent.
The jump in claims has led, in part, to closer scrutiny by insurers of treatment methods and outcomes.
“The current approach to substance-use disorder treatment is based largely on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step model, which doesn’t take into account that 40 percent to 60 percent of substance abuse is attributable to a person’s genetic makeup,” Cigna CEO David Cordani wrote recently in an online essay when he called for comprehensive treatment, including medication, therapy and family support.
Let’s be abundantly clear – the Big Pharma helped create this problem, and now we are going to use tax dollars to help fix it, by keeping everyone on some form of drugs for the rest of their lives. It’s like creating a cancer and then selling the antidote, except Big Pharma and the entire medical-side of the health care industry is making huge profits on both ends.
Drug addiction is a human-created cancer. It’s all about greed and profit on the “Supply Chain” side and about fear and despair on the “Demand” side of the equation. Just another day in this great American experiment, which was premised upon freedom of thought (even more relevant after celebrating our Independence Day) but not freedom to economically abuse our society.