Legal Weed Could Save Medicaid More Than $1 Billion

Medical marijuana legalization is causing patients to ditch their prescription pills for pot, a trend researchers say could save Medicaid more than $1 billion if legalization is implemented federally.

A recent study published in Health Affairs shows marijuana legalization is sparking a decline in prescription medications under Medicaid. The research, which analyzed Medicaid data in states with medical marijuana programs, found rates of prescriptions being filled under Medicaid for opioid painkillers dropped by 11 percent, and other addictive medications followed similar patterns, reports The Colorado Statesman.

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Key Takeaways From CBO Score of the Republican Health Care Bill

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated their score of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) this week, prior to its being sent over to the Senate.

This budgetary analysis projects that if passed into law, the AHCA would reduce the number of insured by 23 million, but would decrease the deficit by $119 billion while also reducing federal outlays by $1.1 trillion and federal revenue by $992 billion.

While the score is roughly similar to the score from the original version of the AHCA released on March 23, several modifications to the law occurred since then and were not reflected in earlier estimates.

The new CBO score addresses the effect of allowing states to waive the Affordable Care Act essential health benefit and community rating requirements on premiums in particular.

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