Markey: Repealing Obamacare Is Repealing Hope For Millions Suffering from Opioid Addiction

Republican repeal effort would rip coverage from 1.6 million newly-insured individuals with substance use disorders

Washington (January 10, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) yesterday blasted efforts by Senate Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act through the budget reconciliation process. On the Senate floor, Senator Markey noted that 1.6 million newly insured Americans would have their coverage repealed if Republicans do not have a replacement plan if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Medicaid pays one out of every five dollars for substance use disorder treatment. Without that federal investment in the Medicaid program from the Affordable Care Act, states like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky – states that are bearing the brunt of the opioid epidemic today – will have to find additional funding in already dwindling state budgets to aid those who need treatment. The Republican repeal effort comes in the wake of passage last month of bipartisan legislation that provides $1 billion dollars in new resources to states to address the opioid crisis. 

“Republicans are not just repealing Obamacare, they’re repealing hope,” said Senator Markey in remarks on the U.S. Senate floor. “Those suffering from addiction don’t have time for Republicans to come up with a replacement plan at some undetermined dated in the future. Any delay could be the difference between achieving health and recovery or death. This repeal effort is immoral, and I will fight the Republican effort to deny coverage to those Americans who need it most.”