Bucking Trend, Ohio Moved Fast To Use Federal Opioid Money

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Records show Ohio didn’t hesitate to spend the first round of federal funding targeting the country’s opioid crisis, unlike other states, to expand Medicaid under the national health care law.

State officials spent $19 million, or about 73 percent, of the money it received last year as part of the two-year, nearly $1 billion grant program from the 21st Century Cures Act.

An analysis by The Associated Press of the grant spending found states that expanded Medicaid reported spending less of their allocations than those that didn’t expand the health insurance program to poor, childless adults.

The state’s Mental Health and Addiction Services agency says Ohio used Cures Act dollars to fill gaps in the state’s response to the opioid crisis not covered by Medicaid expansion.