A fifty-year-old law limiting the number of beds in treatment centers that Medicaid covers is hindering the expansion of addiction treatment under the affordable care act, according to an article in the New York Times.
The law states that Medicaid will only cover treatment at facilities that have 16 beds or fewer. Because most treatment centers have more than 16 beds, many people on Medicaid are not able to have their rehabilitation covered by insurance.
According to the article, the law steps from an effort to prevent Medicaid from covering stays at state psychiatric hospitals, which the federal government felt that states should have to cover. However, such hospitals are now less common than when the law was enacted. Changing the law would take an act of congress.