New healthcare plan and the opioid epidemic

Local News

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey joins other lawmakers to raise more awareness for the opioid epidemic.  Those Senators were joined by fathers who lost their sons to overdoses.

Rick Werner says his son, Jamie, is another face of the opioid epidemic.  He died of an overdose; he was self-medicating to treat his bi-polar disorder.  “We lost him to an overdose of fentanyl,” explains Werner, “he was 27.”  Werner is worried that if the republican plan to rewrite healthcare is implemented, that more people will lose coverage, and fewer people will be treated for addiction.  “Individuals suffering with addiction need diagnosis, counseling and treatment.  Without health insurance, these services are unattainable for most,” says Werner.

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, sayas the new plan focuses more on opioid addiction.  McConnell explains, “it would, again, devote significant resources towards the fight of the opioid crisis and this time go even further.”

With the cuts to Medicaid, though, by the time that coverage reaches these individuals, they may be too late.

In the revised Republican Healthcare Bill that was released this week, lawmakers promised an additional $45 billion for opioid funding.  Opponents say that number is not high enough.


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