A new report says the US needs to move away from a prescription-drug-prescription model that has made it difficult for doctors to find doctors to take patients with severe illnesses like chronic pain and HIV/AIDS.
The report, published Monday by the Center for American Progress, said the government needs to make the transition to an all-payer system to help the millions of Americans who depend on the government to treat them.
The report comes on the heels of a report that found that in 2015, the United States spent about $1.8 trillion on opioids, and more than 10 million people were dying from them.
The report calls for a new federal program to cover opioid prescriptions, which would be funded by a mix of private-sector money and the sale of prescription opioids by the drugmaker Purdue Pharma.
While the report calls on Congress to make it a priority to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor, it notes that the federal government has not yet done so.
It also suggests that the government create a national fund for chronic pain, which is currently set to expire at the end of this year.
That would make it much easier for doctors and patients to find a doctor to treat their ailments, according to the report.
In 2016, the opioid epidemic made headlines around the country, with the deadliest year on record, when at least 1,092 people died from the drug.
Many states passed laws to expand their Medicaid programs, which covered millions of people who lacked insurance.
The federal government did not expand its Medicaid program in 2020, and the program was left with a funding gap of about $700 billion, according the report, which found that there are more than 7 million people who rely on Medicaid to pay for chronic care.
In addition, the report said the US faces a shortage of health care professionals who are willing to work for the government.
“While we have some options to address our prescription-and-medication-based healthcare system, we still lack sufficient resources and staffing to meet demand,” the report says.
“To address our health care crisis, we need to move beyond the prescription-only model that is the default,” it says.