Cassidy-Graham-Heller Repeal Plan Would Make It Harder for West Virginians to Combat Opioid Crisis
September 21, 2017
Today, Jeff Sessions descended on West Virginia and made more empty promises to help fight the opioid crisis plaguing the state. Conveniently, the Attorney General forgot to mention that the Cassidy-Graham-Heller repeal plan his administration is fighting for would have a devastating impact on West Virginia’s ability to combat the opioid crisis. In addition to dismantling Medicaid with a $2.042 billion program cut in 2027 alone and the end of the Medicaid expansion, it would allow insurers to drop the ACA’s required coverage for substance abuse treatment. In particular Medicaid, which covers 29 percent of West Virginians, has played a critical role in this fight, providing coverage for a third of all Americans who are struggling with opioid addiction.
“The opioid epidemic has devastated communities across West Virginia, and the last thing West Virginians need is for Republicans to take away their access to health care and critical resources,” said DNC spokesperson Elizabeth Renda. “While it’s bad enough that Trump has failed to live up to his promise to formally declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, he is now leading the charge to strip protections and resources from West Virginia families who need them most. The Cassidy-Graham-Heller repeal bill is even worse for working West Virginians than previous repeal attempts, and Democrats will not sit idly by while Republicans continue their heartless crusade and destroy the lives of millions of Americans.”
The Cassidy-Graham-Heller repeal plan:
- Does not include additional funding to combat the opioid epidemic.
- Makes deep cuts to Medicaid that are even worse than repealing the ACA expansion alone – every state, even those that did not expand Medicaid, will see cuts.
- Converts Medicaid to a per-capita program, making it more difficult for states to combat public health emergencies like the opioid epidemic.
- Ends the guarantee of protections for people with preexisting conditions and allows insurance companies to charge people higher premiums based on their health status, hurting people suffering from opioid addiction.
- Gives states the ability to waive the ACA’s essential health benefits – which guarantee coverage for substance abuse treatment and mental health care.