Democratic Senators demand changes to GOP healthcare bill

Ed Markey insists the current health care bill does not do enough

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Democratic senators say the GOP healthcare bill will make the country’s opioid problem even worse.

“It would essentially take a wrecking ball to all of the efforts to address treatment for the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, (D) New Hampshire.

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says Obamacare made it easier for people to access drug abuse treatment — allowing his state to make real progress in the fight against addiction.

“Whether they got it through the Medicaid expansion, or through the required benefits under Obamacare that they got through the exchanges — this really helped, said Whitehouse.

The democratic senators warned there could be serious consequences for cutting funding for Medicaid or removing Obamacare mandates.

Opioid Crisis Coverage

Senator Maggie Hassas said “People are dying.”

Republican Congressman Tim Walberg says his party is focused on solving the opioid crisis, “Members of Congress are well aware of this in all of our districts. I don’t think we’re going to walk away from dealing with it.”

However, democratic senators like Ed Markey of Massachusetts are asking, where’s the money?

“A vision without funding is an hallucination, said Markey.

“I think we’ll continue to fund, toward dealing with addiction. It has to be. This is a societal effort,” said Walberg.

Still, Markey insists the current health care bill does not do enough– and says republicans can’t have it both ways.

“They cannot say they care about this issue, call it a crisis while simultaneously slashing the programs necessary to fight it,” said Markey.

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