Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
A prominent Democratic lawmaker asked major health insurers today whether their policies and preferred prescription drug lists have made the nation’s opioid epidemic worse.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote to the companies after an article by ProPublica and The New York Times found that insurance companies sometimes favor cheaper, more addictive opioids over less addictive, but more expensive, alternatives.
“This is not a hypothetical problem,” Cummings wrote. “In my home state of Maryland, 550 people died of an overdose in the first three months of 2017 alone.…