The quickest way to erase pain is to give patients an opioid. But a rise in prescriptions has fueled a national epidemic of fatal overdoses, with a large share of the deaths occurring in low-income communities.

Under intense pressure to combat the problem, states across the country are expanding their Medicaid programs to cover alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga. The effort could increase non-opioid options for low-income patients suffering from pain. But it also opens states to criticism from skeptics who say taxpayers are being forced to fund unproven treatments based on political expediency instead of sound science.

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  • I just don’t see how it is possible to get on top of the ever growing financial entitlements in Medicare and Medicaid without a complete freedom to medicate pharmacology , and legally , substances A to Z .

  • Don’t remember the details, but didn’t the Federal Government create an official to study some of the different forms of “alternative medicine” about 20 years ago?

  • I am not into holistic and never believe what I see or hear. After my fibromyalgia putting me in a hospital bed for three years and I refuse to be a burden to anyone so I could not take care of my own needs I was desperate and I wanted to live so I tried it all even certain diets ugh and pain meds didn’t help much also trigger point injections but still no relief. Acupuncture was my fear and last hope and I didn’t believe in it. Instead of just offing myself because I was solo independent I wanted to be alive for my dad and kids and got a talented chiropractic acupuncture doctor. My life was saved by what others call a miracle,I am not religious, I was able to be almost a normal human again. As far as state insurance paying for it , I worked before this fibromyalgia took me out and my taxes that I paid in pays for my insurance. If any doctors or researchers want to contact me, yes there is documented proof from over four providers that it does work with the ones who know what they are doing .. Drug problems are a result of pushing drugs and acupuncture has been around forever. Government needs to quit being licensed drug dealers. Vote to pass alternative treatments instead of drugs that kill and people kill for them. I have proof it works.

  • Dislocated right shoulder while on a short vacation in another State. ER doctor re-aligned under anesthesia. Gave me two prescriptions, one for pain, the other for swelling. Did not need to purchase. Pain & swelling relieved with homeopathic meds I always carry in my first aid travel kit. Saved me over $40. Had a nice restaurant meal instead.

    • You do know that the human body can be quite adept at relieving pain and swelling all by itself: how do you know the homeopathy had any effect?

  • The power of suggestion lies behind “alternative treatments” eventual success.
    “Alternative” science is a scam, should not be funded.

  • Every satisfied patient that sees an acupuncturist saves the system money. A series of treatments for low back pain cost less than a single MRI that doesn’t even treat pain and far less than lowest cost surgery. And an patient with a history of drug dependency may avoid returning to opiods by seeking out an acupuncturist as alternative.

  • In today’s world The Rich don’t even have to experience the discomfort of gestating their own babies and your’re going to keep moralizing about the common folks pain relief choices and validating a totally corrupt and immoral policy of State : Well Shame On You !