AP analysis: ‘Obamacare’ shapes opioid grant spending

(AP) An Associated Press analysis of the first wave of emergency money targeting the U.S. opioid crisis finds that states are taking very different approaches to spending it.

To a large extent, the differences depend on whether states participated in one of the most divisive issues in recent American politics: the health overhaul known as “Obamacare.”

The emergency money from Congress was part of a two-year, nearly $1 billion grant program. It was distributed according to a formula favoring states with more overdose deaths and treatment needs.

The AP analysis found states that expanded Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul reported spending their allocations more slowly than states that didn’t expand the health insurance program to poor, childless adults.

The AP obtained the spending data via the Freedom of Information Act.