Don’t blame Medicaid for opioid epidemic

Oh, how self-therapeutic it must be to spout untruths to balm one’s inner demons.

Such was the recent letter by a chronic naysayer alleging that “Obamacare” and Medicaid expansion were responsible for the proliferation of narcotic prescriptions meant for resale and destined to feed the huge illicit narcotic demand while also extolling the wisdom of South Carolina to block expansion of medical care to those in need.

As a physician, I can attest that the true offenders are not most of the patients, but the incompetent or, even worse, unscrupulous, dishonest physicians who exploit the situation for personal financial gain, not patient need. Issuing prescriptions for patients who really do not require narcotics for clinical purposes and “Narcotic Prescription Mills,” physician practices set up to primarily exploit the narcotic demand in exchange for office visit fees, no matter the source, have fed the plague. To any knowledgeable or ethically concerned physician, a “ruse” office visit should be obvious even if the patient claims otherwise.

So, to the uninformed and misleading letter writer, the next time that you choose an ignorant, politically misguided and self-demeaning diatribe, make an effort to get the facts first. Otherwise you dishonestly preach from the lectern of self-deception spouting opinions, surely gleaned indiscriminately from the “alternate truth” news sources.

Karl Engelman

Hilton Head Island

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