Report: To Expand Substance Abuse Treatment, Embrace Obamacare

by Casey Quinlan – A new report on substance abuse treatment recommends building on the successes of the ACA. A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released on Tuesday makes the case for why states and the Trump administration should build on the Affordable Care Act’s’s success, rather than tear it down. The ACA expanded treatment by requiring that both Medicaid and individual marketplace plans cover basic mental health and addiction services. More than 1 million people receive treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, according to a recent estimate from professors at New York University and Harvard Medical School. The share of people with substance use or mental health disorders who were hospitalized but uninsured fell from 20 percent to 5 percent from 2013 to mid-2015, according to Health and Human Services data. Medicaid expansion helped many of the states most affected...

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States Debate Millionaires’ Taxes

Of course, conservative study claims rich move when asked to pay more By Adrienne Lu, Stateline –  When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last month vetoed a tax increase on any income over $1 million, no one was surprised. The Republican vetoed similar tax increases on the wealthy in 2010, 2011 and 2012, arguing that the state’s richest residents would flee to other states, taking much-needed tax revenues and jobs with them. “I strongly believe that punitively raising taxes on our already overtaxed residents and small business owners is not the answer to the state’s short- and long-term fiscal challenges,” Christie said in his veto message. Illinois lawmakers also considered a new “millionaires’ tax” this year. A legislative proposal to tax earnings above $1 million at 8 percent, rather than the 5 percent state tax on all other income, failed, but Illinois voters will get to weigh in on a nonbinding referendum...

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GOP Passes Budget for 1%, But Progressive Vision Shines

Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams, Former Obama economic adviser turned economic pundit Jared Bernstein didn’t waste his time attacking the Republican budget passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday. All its economic flaws and moral cruelty are well documented, he noted. Instead, like others, Bernstein used his column space to plug the one budget currently in Congress that actually contours with the stated desires—found in poll after poll—of the American people: ‘The Better Off Budget’ introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus last month. Bernstein admits that part of his strategy for showcasing the CPC budget is to make sure (“after all the ink spilled over” the GOP budget authored by Tea Party darling Rep. Paul Ryan) that the progressive version receives some much-needed media daylight. More importantly, however, he says it’s important lay out the progressive vision “in order to see that it’s really quite simple” to...

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