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More Idahoans Could get Substance Abuse Help Under Health Care Overhaul

flickr.com, Tim Pearce, Los Gatos

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — More than 13,000 Idahoans with alcohol or substance addictions could become eligible for treatment under the nation’s new health care overhaul. An Associated Press analysis of federal government data shows 13,000 people in Idaho already receive treatment through rehabilitation or hospitalization each year.

That number could double in 2014 under the new health insurance coverage rules depending on how many seek treatment. The AP analysis also shows another 22,000 people could get access to treatment if the state expands Medicaid. So far, Idaho lawmakers have rejected expanding the program covering low-income residents.

More people seeking substance abuse treatment in the state could add more pressure to an already stressed system. Data show the state has only 237 beds designated for those patients and already operating 182 percent above capacity.

 

 

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