What Does Trumpcare Mean For Chronic Pain Patients?

What Does Trumpcare Mean For Chronic Pain Patients?

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Pain Foundation released the following press release yesterday. National Pain Report supports the US Pain Foundation and their efforts, and echoes their concerns.

Patients Covered Under Medicaid Targeted in Latest Health Bill

Middletown, CT, May 4, 2017-The U.S. Pain Foundation is gravely concerned about our members who will lose their healthcare coverage or will face steep increases for pre-existing medical conditions if the House-passed version of the American Healthcare Act of 2017 prevails as law. Today’s actions in the House marks unchartered territory for millions of Americans who rely on the existing healthcare system to receive essential and life-saving treatments.

“As an organization, we do see room for improvement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in more affordable premiums. However, the AHCA is not that outcome. We cannot sit quietly while lawmakers push through a bill which would force millions of people living with chronic pain into a situation where prescription treatment options and therapeutic services are unattainable,” said president and founder of U.S. Pain, Paul Gileno. “It’s a sad day when the concerns of profit comes before the concerns of those in need of quality health coverage.”

For years, U.S. Pain Foundation has been championing affordable healthcare on behalf of the millions of individuals with pre-existing conditions, which includes complex, rare and/or incurable chronic pain conditions. “Today, people who have been facing intractable medical conditions every day with courage were given an additional challenge to face during their pain journey,” Gileno added.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting that, if passed, this bill could leave as many as 24 million Americans without health insurance. Following today’s actions in the House, the bill moves to the Senate where its future is uncertain.

U.S. Pain Foundation encourages people living with chronic pain conditions and their caregivers to contact their Senators, asking that them not to support this bill. The organization plans to create an online engagement opportunity for those interested in championing on behalf of patient rights.

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The US Pain Foundation is a partner with the National Pain Report. To learn more about the US Pain Foundation, visit their website.

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Tim Mason

I don’t doubt it. Just hope your pain management doctor does not leave for the VA as well.

R Belcher

My GP’s keep leaving private practice to join VA or govt agencies For the pensions and health coverage !!!!!!!!

R Belcher

We can all become federal and state workers Great healthcare
Everyone works for the government Hmmmmm?
That’s what young people see Join the military Free school great healthcare pensions Sign me up oh darn I’m 56 and disabled

R Belcher

Young people are not too pleased paying for Medicare/Medicaid and bring taxed to death for mediocre wages. They are pro Socialism
Hmm wonder why ? Hmmm

R Belcher

My country disgusts me. News people making [edit] up. A President who Tweets! It’s going to take so long to fix this [edit]. It’s out of hand

Tax the [edit] out of rich
Time to redistribute

R Belcher

I want to know the plan that Congress has! I call them “The Breathers” I have seen them while in session Half are sleeping. They are just people Nothing special
Pendulum - time to swing it the Other way. Too many rights for no work. Have 4 year terms then go get a real job!!! I’ve seen state and federal workers They don’t work!
I was one! I left! I was embarrassed!

R Belcher

I am afraid the government will decide who lives or dies. Be it too expensive, a person’s age etc.
The rich will have access to healthcare beyond what the masses will Just a way to “reduce the surface population”
Except, many rich just inherited or made it illegally (hey Kennedy family was big into bootlegging) Power in the hands of the few who are no more worthy than anyone else. It’s just a crime. But, there are a whole lot more of US than THEM. They need workers! It’s a line people walk. How can 5% own over 80% of the assets Time for a bit of re-distribution. Call it socialism. But the rich get richer. The middle class is being wiped out ! This is going to be interesting. Forget wars outside the US. It will come from within
Time to be Fair! First time I ever heard a newscaster call himself an “Elitist ” George Stefanopolous
Why is he an elitist? Sounds like a kingdom of mideival times I could not believe he referred to himself as an elitist. He’s a politician turned entertainer. He’s done nothing incredible and if he only knew how stupid he sounded calling himself “special” We are the same. Just watch a virus with no cure break out and see who is elite!
Elite die too! It just amazed me the absolute stupidly of saying it “on air” What kingdom does he hail from? I’m sorry but these people drive me nuts. Lots of us w Ivy League degrees My cousin was a congressman from Mass. saw him on TV going to jail! I think he is an elitist too! What makes one person an elitist? Money is fleeting folks.
We better figure out we are in this together before it’s too late!

Louis Ogden

Bonnie Collins said on May 21, 2017 that:
“Not supporting Trump care is the stupidest thing ever! Until Government stays out of the healthcare industry and the free market can take over to keep the insurance industry from being the now dictators they are, healthcare will never be affordable. If healthcare is a right then why not food, drink, and shelter?”

Bonnie, I have to respectfully disagree. Every country in the Western world has some form of socialized medicine. Without it, the poor would not receive healthcare at all. Healthcare should be a right along with food, drink, and shelter? However, I do agree with your feelings about the insurance industry. However, the free market is not the answer. That is nothing but ‘trickle down economics” that has been tried and failed. Without oversight from the government, insurance costs will continue to rise.

Not supporting Trump care is the stupidest thing ever! Until Government stays out of the healthcare industry and the free market can take over to keep the insurance industry from being the now dictators they are, healthcare will never be affordable. If healthcare is a right then why not food, drink, and shelter? Until people stop acting emotionally and use logic to solve this problem, the poorest and sickest among us will continue to suffer! With Obamacare I guarantee the death panels Sarah Palin spoke of already exist.

Tim Mason

Trish, I can you provide a reference for this statement. It would be a good one to have,



Things have just gone from bad to worse. Last week Trump was talking about dumping the WH Office of Nat’l Drug Policy. This week, he’s decided to start some kind of opiate task force headed by Christie who took away opiates from all chronic pain patients without cancer or terminal illness. Also included, head of the ONDP (that he was going to dismantle last week), and Patrick Kennedy, a 12 stepper from a family of 12 steppers. No one representing chronic pain patients’ interests.


Will someone help us chronic pain patients. 2 surgeon has refused surgery on my back for 12 years,my bulging disk are to close to spinal nerves.Our half ass pres. Obama is the one to blame for this law and has put dea ahents in bad position

Jean Price

Kim…I agree 150%with what you’ve said! Until congress has to themselves ABIDE by the health care plans they roll out for and deem fine for others, we are not likely to ever have a good plan with adequate coverage! If my child had worked in congress and voted for Medicare Part D…I would probably have disowned them! It is not just dumb and ridiculous…it’s criminal! And served mostly to increase government JOBS…since it took thousands of people to oversee it!!

Obamacare cost so much in monthly premiums…with usually a $5000 yearly deductible…so most of those who had it couldn’t even AFFORD to go to the doctor ANYWAY! All we really have to do is look at the farce called “health care” for our veteran’s in the VA system to realize our government doesn’t have a clue how to manage, plan, insure, OR deliver good medical care! Sad! We are sure not the country I grew up to believe in! In a government of, for, and by the people! Ha! Must have been a bad joke…or was I just that naive all those years!!?

Sunshine Hawkins

For 4 years, since returning to WA state, I have been unable to get chronic pain help/relief. This is due to a WA state bill that ALREADY killed all form of help, EVEN WITH BlueCross BlueShield good insurance. But I’m SURE the WA state gov doesn’t lose one milliseconds sleep over my agony! So to say it will be worse, what else is new, UNLESS you are filthy rich.

Jeffrey hanshew

I am also unfortunate disabled , crushed by a forklift , not paid any compensation except the bull crap workers comp , hardware in back and hip , I was the one whom loved work , tried different jobs even a sit down for 7 days a week ten hrs a day ……… Nope not anymore just went crazy ,,,,,,,, I am no longer taking any opioids , I refuse they do not help nor they just complicate other issues with your body and health ,,,,,,, I just smoke maryjane every great once in awhile when I can not tolerate my pain ,,,, I live in Indiana and itis not legalized , the cod oil in which is not THC will not help me ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I am at my wits end fighting pain since 1997 , relationships issues from being on opioids , now me being myself and smoking I’m chillin , I’m also on Medicaid but I do not go too pain clinic or a dr , I no what works for me , not the government tracking game or dr game ,,,,, I am sick of playing the games ,,,,,,,,,,, good luck prayers and Angels all around for people whom live with serious chronic pain issues , or other life threading diseases and ailments ,,,,,

Scott michaels

What COUNTRIES do not have opioid limits for people with chronic pain. I must leave the country. My pain caused me to need 360 MG oxycodone. Now my Dr has forced reduction to 180 going to 90mg. We’re can u MOVE so DOCTORS can treat me avidly. Please let me know.


I wish people would quit grouping smoking cigarettes with drug addiction. It’s not any more right than grouping chronic pain patients who need opiates to treat pain with heroin addicts! I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have some form of “addiction” in today’s way of calling everything an addiction. We need to quit putting general labels on everything and begin caring about others without feeling that you have the right to tell everyone what is right or wrong and how to live their lives! Smoking is no worse than overeating or undereating and doesn’t smell any worse than the god awful perfumes that most everyone over uses and gives many of us asthma attacks! I will quit smoking in public the day everything artificially scented is banned in public!


Insurance itself is the cause of the cost of medical care being prohibitive so I don’t see how insurance can be the answer. Just my copays cost more with insurance than previously when I had no insurance. I don’t have a one size fits all answer because there isn’t one. I am disappointed when I realize that Obamanation care is not being totally dismantled as I feel was promised. Between the cost of mandatory insurance and moving to another state along with everyone practicing medicine without a license I fear that in two months when I run out of medication I will be up the proverbial creek without even a twig to paddle with!

Tim Mason

Doctors have already been doing this since 2016. It was the main problem with Obamacare.
The term is called “Cherry Pick and Lemon Drop”. Before 2015 it was unethical for a surgeon to help a patient with insurance and “In Network”. The way around the pre-existing condition was to not treat those “in network” patients if they had diabetes, kidney problems, chronic pain issues, etc. These patients tend to have longer hospital stays, higher risks of infection, etc. This leads to a higher medical bills and the surgeon or orthopedic doctor etc. will not treat a patient such as this at a discounted rate (in-network) because he will not get as much money. You can look this up for yourself. In April 2016 the AMA stated that is was not unethical for a physician not to treat a patient if he was not going to receive what he/she thought was enough compensation. Look up “Cherry Pick and Lemon Drop in Medicine” AMA.
I am having some mobility issues and go to pain management. I am being treated will by these doctors. However, my insurance company reached out to me to get a second opinion for a third back surgery. So I called an orthopedic group in network that I had seen prior to getting a neurosurgeon for previous surgery. This guy is a surgeons surgeon. I left my surgical notes from my ALIF 360 in 2015 and current MRI and the office manager called me and said “You are not a good patient for us”. I asked them to put that in writing and explain why. She said “NO! We don’t do that” I called my patient advocate from my insurance company and she was a little surprised. However, I mentioned the “In-network” discount, and gave her the reference to the “Cherry pick and Lemon Drop” article that mentioned the AMA decision and she said: “You will have to go out of town and out of network to get your L4,L5 nerve pain looked at” I told her I would stick with the conservative approach for now, Pain Management, massage, TENS Unit and limited work hours. BTY. I have no comorbidities, blood work of a 20 year old
In a nutshell, The Preexisting Condition patient was being Lemon Dropped by In-Network doctors.
Be well,

Chris Desrochers

High risk pools are not a new thing. They were tried in the past and didn’t work. I do believe that people with pre-exisiting conditions have something to be worried about. What is happening to those with chronic and pre-existing conditions is unconscionable.

Michele Howe

I remember when there weren’t any Pain Clinics and reading news articles about people who committed suicide bcuz they were not able to receive help and relief from their chronic pain. I am so thankful and blessed to have found my pain Dr. She has literally saved my life. Honestly, without help from my chronic pain, I doubt that I would be here today.
We are not just people seeking drugs, as many think. We are people who have legitimate
24/7, 365 days a year debilitating pain. I know that I just want to be “normal” again. I would love to not have to take drugs throughout the day in order to be pain free. It is those who are abusing the system that are creating these problems for the rest of us. We need to stay strong and work together in order to keep those who truly need the medicine receiving the help they so desperately need. We have the right to live as normal and pain free as possible.
Please contact your State’s Congress person and urge them to join the fight for our lives. Keep strong!

mary stephenson

The whole thought of this scenario is terrifying! WHY is the government, CDC, DEA and whom else is involved in removing lifesaving medication for chronic pain patients who have nowhere else to turn except to their Dr. who has taken: The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. Of historic and traditional value, the oath is considered a rite of passage for practitioners of medicine in many countries, although nowadays various modernized versions are often used; the message delivered is still the same: do no harm permanently to help, assist, relieve, save a life or assist the ill or a chronic pain patient’s life? We have medication that will help everyone to a degree. From history’s earliest civilizations to today, societies have been faced with balancing the medicinal properties of opioids in treating pain with the euphoric effects that have induced its misuse—and abuse. Patients with MRI, CT’S, EMG. And all reports to validate CHRONIC INJURY, WITH CHRONIC PAIN should be able to get opioids. Keep better records, everything is computerized now, so much easier. From the beginning of time of the first opioid use there has been a balancing of the medication. Why can we continue this again, since there has been a huge drop in the misuse of opioids. which has been around since 3,500 BC. There is nothing else to replace the opioid medication, we have had plenty of time to try to do so, but there is nothing to take the place of opioid medication that really works on chronic pain, that is why it’s been around this long. Why is the GOVERNMENT taking our PAIN MEDICATION away from us legitimate chronic pain patients who have so much proof that our chronic pain is real? We have real MRI, real CT’S, real EMG, and so many, many more test that prove we have a real problem, that is chronic PAIN and the only assistance is opioid PAIN MEDICATION. I have never taken any black market so called medication or whatever it is drugs? But myself would never go searching for medication on the streets, can barely get out of bed without medication. Plus, I know nothing of street medication, don’t want to know & wouldn’t ever do it. I don’t want to die, I struggle every day to survive. I want my spine dr. back & my regular medication back so I could have some type of a life, better than none as it is. Why are the weak, who can barely function, exhausted from pain, why is the GOVERNMENT involved in a DOCTORS & PATIENTS CHRONIC PAIN LIFE? The GOVERNMENT is not involved in high blood pressure patients & controlling their medication, Alzheimer’s patients & controlling their medication, diabetes patients & controlling their medication & so many, many more,… Read more »

Kim Miller

I have always had insurance, through my employer, and now through my retirement plan. I have never had payment refused or insurance denied due to a pre-existing condition. As one gets older, “conditions” of one form or another, are pretty much a part of that aging process.

It appears to me that unless and until members of congress are subjected to their own restrictions, the general public will suffer whatever they deem applicable for the rest of us regardless of whether it’s sensible or not. Having worked for 30+ years, paid into the retirement system and now finding myself facing what would equate to an impossible situation, I’m terrified of what’s to come.

Please tell me this is not the healthcare bill we’ve all been waiting for. Every year, the insurance is up for negotiation during open enrollment. This year I will be facing serious financial ruin if my insurance coverage is dependent on pre-existing conditions. Congress should face the very same restrictions placed on their constituents in order for a fair healthcare bill to be the result.

Tim Mason

Good Comment Dr. Langley.
I am slow to react or over react to new changes until I see, read and hear all the facts.
” What we need is what seems to be the system, now being introduced”
You have obviously looked this over being a physician and see something that the media does not see. The media are not doctors nor insurance gurus, they are reporters reporting on wide spread panic.

Robert Schubring

Your grave concerns can be focused more clearly, folks, if you take the trouble to find and read the legislation that was passed. You may do so here. https://housegop.leadpages.co/healthcare/#macarthur-amendment What happened under Obamacare, is that a law was passed, prohibiting an insurer from discriminating against applicants who came to it, with pre-existing conditions, seeking insurance. However, nothing in the Obamacare law prohibited an insurer from closing up shop and discriminating against everybody. Health insurers began doing precisely that. They fled from different States, leaving only the largest insurer in that State, with a monopoly. The monopoly insurers then asked States to pay them money, so that they could continue offering coverage. States have two choices. They can pay the money. Or they can open a State insurance service, which will cost a lot of capital to start, in addition to the benefit money that would have to be paid out. Right now, all 50 States operate a service called Medicaid. Under Medicaid, people who are poor enough to qualify, get their hospital or institutional bills paid by their State. The trick is in how to qualify. To be poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, you first have to give up your house or apartment. And your car. And most of your hobbies, if they require stuff the State could sell to raise money to pay for your care. This Medicaid benefit was designed for the convenience of State hospitals and State long-term care institutions, into which they dying went for the last 6-18 months of their lives. It does a lousy job of caring for people who are going to recover from what ails them and regain some functionality. That’s a big part of our problem as pain patients. Most of us, once the pain is under control, have other life interests and want to work on them. We have families and friends about whom we care. A lot of us have skills and go back to work in some capacity. Giving up everything, just to get permission to take pain medicine, isn’t an acceptable choice to us. What was surprising was to learn, that no State wanted to start a Single Payer service that took over what Medicaid does. It’s perfectly legal for States to do so. But no State has done that. States obviously are run by politicians. And if those politicians sufficiently botch the healthcare system to incur the wrath of voters, they get removed from office quickly. So they prefer to pass the buck. The responsibility of caring for patients who aren’t poor enough to need Medicaid, is left to the severely-regulated private sector, and the politicians sit on the sidelines and criticize, hoping to win popularity for their useless nagging. Pain patients can make an important contribution to the national effort to improve healthcare and reduce it’s cost, by pointing out the truth of our problems. Many of us only need a safe and reliable supply of medication with which to control pain, in order… Read more »

Robert Ivan

I once supported Donald Trump, chiefly because of his nomination of Dr. Price to head Health and Human Services. During his two confirmation hearings, Dr. Price reiterated more times than Carter has pills, his primary concern to remove government from the Doctor’s office, reinforcing the Doctor / Patient relationship, unencumbered by government intrusion. Well, we see how well that worked.

We all know this attack on opioid pain medication for chronic pain patients is the largest sham perpetrated against the American people in history considering how many people are affected by this. We as a group make up the largest constituency, second only to the NRA’s continued fight to protect the 2nd Amendment.

Now we see Congress purposed taxation on opioid medication, one cent per milligram - Summary: S.523 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)


It was not that long ago we were taught (propagandized) that Marijuana was the gateway drug which leads directly to Heroin. Not anymore since Big Brother has found a way to tax it along with Cigarettes and Alcohol. Now we hear that grandmas prescription pain pills are the gateway that leads again to Heroin.

I hate to be the one who reveals the truth that our government is corrupt. Of course I’m being sarcastic, but it is the smelly truth. I despise the idea that we would capitulate to this, but we are fighting against the profits realized by Big Pharma trying to replace our “PROVEN TO WORK” pain medication with antidepressants. It seems they introduce a new brand once a month and they make far more than on generic Oxycodone. All the while, our cities and streets are flooded with illegal Heroin. It is once again all about the money and we are the victims.

Few of us have the strength to fight this. I personally have barely enough energy just getting out of bed, let alone marching on the Capital carrying a sign that reads “Stop the Genocide”. I read posts of people considering ending their life, those that have already done so. Some are leaving the country to places that do not prohibit the use of Opium based analgesics.

I don’t have the answers, but I know that if our government truly gave a cr@p about our health, they would stop the sale of cigarettes that kill 500,000+ citizens every year. Now that is truly an epidemic, not the 30,000 mostly recreational users that succumb to overdose on street drugs. Opioid pain meds don’t kill people, idiots kill themselves.

Mark Ibsen

More than 24,000,000 Americans will
Lose coverage.
Huge tax break to top 2%.
People will die.
This is good how?

Dg wilson

I am disabled man SSI disability and his Medicaid for my health care insurance for myself and my wife. Spoke with my provider Mercy care of Arizona yesterday before the boat was finished and I was assured that in no way I won’t lose any of my Medicaid coverage! I believe that my insurance providers telling me the truth! And that the Democrats that we voted into office or totally lying to us about this about the new healthcare bill! White my provider lie. And I can’t trust any politician anymore!

Michael G Langley, MD

I heard an interesting story , talking to my former nurse at the hospital, yesterday. She has a daughter (<18yo)who was found to have a benign tumor in her brain. She was placed on Obamacare. After that the bills started mounting. The insurance company notified them that her insurance was canceled and the girl has NO INSURANCE now! So, maybe that preexisting thing never really existed for everyone. I agree that insurance that covers preexisting conditions is not insurance, art all! What we need is what seems to be the system, now being introduced. If we are going to be covered, it should be through aspecial insurace pool, subsidized by the government, not draining the money from all of the rest of the healthy people. It looks like they are trying to make sure the people with preexisting conditions are covered!