Impact of Affordable Care Act Repeal on America’s Opioid Epidemic (Plos-Blogs)

The November 2016 U.S. elections resulted in a Republican sweep of the Presidency and both chambers of Congress. Republicans’ first major policy priority has been to “repeal and replace” the Obama Administration’s effort to reform healthcare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law in 2010. To date, a key component of proposed legislation from both the House and Senate has been severe cuts to Medicaid, which currently provides the lion’s share of health insurance for low-income Americans.

These legislative proposals have been introduced at a time when the U.S. is experiencing an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose. In 2015, there were more than 2.6 million Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD) [1]. During the same year, more than 33,000 died of overdoses involving one or more opioids, corresponding to an age-adjusted opioid-related death rate of 10.4 per 100,000 [2]—more than triple the rate in 2000 [3]. The U.S. now accounts for about a quarter of the world’s drug-related deaths [4].

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Baltimore City Health Department Encourages Naloxone Training

On August 17, Dr. Leana Wen visited Catholic Charities' Weinberg Housing and Resource Center and gave staff and clients a naloxone training.

Decisive leadership: Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen sees the ER as a valuable training ground for physician leaders (Furst Group)

In the age of value-based care, organizations are leaning on clinicians to lean in to leadership. This opens new vistas for physicians and nurses, but health systems and insurers must do their homework. A physician who heads his or her own practice may have valuable leadership skills, but leading, say, a staff of 12 is different from overseeing a $2 billion budget and ensuring a board and a C-suite are in sync with your vision.

One such physician who has made the jump is Leana Wen, MD, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner, who leads a staff of 1,000 employees. Since being named to the role in December 2014, Wen has shown a predilection for taking decisive action, perhaps unsurprising as someone trained as an emergency room physician.

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Baltimore Health Commissioner Posts Statement On ACA Lawsuit (WJZ)

 The health commissioner of Baltimore City made a statement Thursday in a Facebook post about the suit filed against the Trump administration for “intentionally and unlawfully sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.

“I am gravely concerned for the wellbeing of my patients, my city and millions of individuals who are finding themselves unable to afford health care,” Dr. Leana Wen, city health commissioner, said.

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