NEW YORK — The Trump administration is moving to expand access to a popular prescription medication for treating opioid addiction and other illnesses with a new plan that would make it much easier for those with insurance to receive treatment.
The plan, to be unveiled Monday, would also expand coverage for some patients who currently have to use Medicaid, which covers about a third of all Americans and covers more than 6 million people.
It’s a major shift from the Trump health care overhaul that eliminated the Medicaid expansion in 2020 and required states to cover most residents.
President Donald Trump, center, speaks to reporters about the opioid crisis at the White House on June 24, 2020.
President Donald J. Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, announced in March that the Trump Administration would expand Medicaid access to people who qualify.
Trump said at the time that he was determined to save the Medicaid program for those most in need.
But now the Trump plan, announced Monday, expands access for some of the nation’s most vulnerable residents.
President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary of Health and Healthcare Tom Price discuss the opioid epidemic on Capitol Hill on May 26, 2021.
Trump also is proposing $300 million to expand Medicaid to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
The administration estimates that about 12 million people in the United States who qualify for Medicaid would have access to opioid treatment, which would be available for as long as they remain insured.
The plan does not specify how much money would be allocated to states.
The new proposal is the latest in a series of changes in the Trump agenda to address the opioid scourge, which has killed more than 50,000 people in a wave of opioid overdose deaths since the epidemic first erupted in 2015.
The Trump plan would expand coverage to about 6.7 million people currently on Medicaid, according to a statement from HHS.
The Medicaid expansion is one of the main drivers of this expansion, and more than 90 percent of people in this age group receive health insurance, according the White of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
More:The plan also would expand access for people who earn up to 100 percent of federal poverty, the federal benchmark, and expand the number of people eligible for Medicaid, to 1.3 million people with income up to 400 percent of poverty.
It is unclear how much more money the new plan would increase spending for Medicaid recipients, which is the federal health program for the poor.
It does not include the additional money from other health insurance programs that the administration says it would increase.
Trump has previously said he wants to provide Medicaid to all Americans, but has not specifically spelled out what his plans are for other groups.
In a statement, the White, which manages Medicaid, said the plan “ensures that states have the resources they need to implement Medicaid’s comprehensive benefits reforms.”
It also would require states to submit their Medicaid program numbers by June 30.
States will not have to wait for the Trump Plan to be released to see the number increase, but states will have to set aside an additional $300 billion over the next five years, according a statement released by HHS.
States that have already approved the plan would receive the additional $100 billion from a fund created to help pay for the expansion.
The Medicaid expansion covers more people than any other program, and it has helped to fill a hole in the federal budget created when Trump eliminated federal funding for Medicaid coverage for millions of low-income Americans.
The Trump plan expands the number to include more than 7.5 million people, which amounts to about 5 percent of all adults in the country.
States have until June 30 to provide their Medicaid numbers, and many are expected to do so by then.
HHS has said that the plan will not include funding for other health care and social services, but that would be handled in a separate program.
In the last few weeks, the Trump-Pence administration has made significant changes to the way Medicaid and other federal programs are managed, including expanding access to coverage of pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities.