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Medicaid is gently carrying tens of thousands of healthy Americans to their early deaths each year, according to analysts who are trying to explain the massive and unprecedented spike in deaths among middle-aged Americans in post-industrial America.

When I last wrote about the increased mortality rates among lower- and middle-class whites, I suggested the welfare state played a significant role in creating the death wave.  Now, in a massive and extensively researched article for Commentary, Nicholas Eberstadt shows how Medicaid is funding the gateway drugs — opioid prescription painkillers — which lead people towards deadly heroin and early death.

Eberstadt quotes from the award-winning 2016 book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. As one passage in Dreamland explains:

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