Children of the Opioid Crisis

Executive Summary

The opioid crisis has caused an influx of children in the foster care system, and proposals in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and drastically cut federal Medicaid funding threaten the care of the these children, “the hidden victims of the opioid crisis,” writes Senior Attorney Jennifer Lav in a new Issue Brief. Lav covers the essential role Medicaid plays in the lives of children impacted by the opioid epidemic and notes that “Medicaid covers all children in foster care.” Lav concludes, “With the opioid crisis devastating families and overwhelming child welfare agencies, Medicaid’s promise of federal help could not be more important. Protecting Medicaid means access to all-important physical and mental health care for children of the opioid crisis, more SUD treatment for their parents, and increased opportunities for family reunification.”

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