A. Leavitt: Act puts many people in danger

The LePage administration imposed a 24-month lifetime limit on drug rehabilitation programs using methadone and suboxone through MaineCare. The rule was put into effect Jan. 1 and made retroactive.

Those programs are broken. Drug dosages to addicts need to be slowly reduced, not increased year after year as they now do. The programs are administered without any plan for a cure, only a treatment. The programs keep people addicted.

Right now, there are thousands of drug addicts who have been kept on drugs for years and they are being cut off from funding, effective immediately.

The act puts many people in danger. Children of these addicts will be neglected because their parents will be too sick to care for them. They will be abused because their parents will be out of their minds from withdrawals. Theft will rise. The safety of the elderly, hospitals — anyone who may have those types of medications in their homes —  is at risk (and pharmacies). The suicide rate will rise. Emergency rooms will be flooded. The list goes on.

There are thousands of patients in those programs that are state-funded and state-approved. Now there are thousands of addicts who are being cut off from treatment.

Limits do need to be imposed, but not a lifetime limit and certainly not one that puts communities in danger.

Perhaps it is time to hold doctors and pharmaceuticals accountable. They benefit not only from the sale, but the outcome as well.

Audrey Leavitt, Mechanic Falls

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Comments

No plan was considered to deal with the impact of this Act

Here we have a situation where the Lepage administration needed to find a way to cut about 200 million in costs over the next period and ...chop...chop ... this is what they thought should happen and, during the legislative recess, did it.

Now I may be wrong, but once the legislature allocates money to state programs, that money must be spent accordingly. That is the law.

Governor Lepage can not and does not have the power to make laws. Only the People, through their duly elected representatives have that power.

Perhaps, Governor Lepage needs to be reminded of this ...it is not a business decision ...it is a People decision, and the people on and around drugs and people who have drug issues deserve more than to be considered merely a "budget" issue.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Easy to say when you are not

Easy to say when you are not paying the bill. Those who are footing Maine’s bills perhaps feel otherwise. Twenty-four months of service is generous enough on the taxpayer’s dime.

Chop, chop, chop is music to our ears when it comes to state spending.

Who isn't paying? Income, point-of-sale and property tax counts.

I suppose you would apply the same "twenty-four months of service is generous enough" standard with regard to state funding for childcare, the disabled or the elderly?

In my view, there is no difference.

These are all, equally, health issues.

But, I respect your opinion, none-the-less.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Actually yes. That is yes to

Actually yes. That is yes to limits on all these programs. The money to spend on these programs is finite, so must be the spending. Chop, chop, chop....

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