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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A group of Democratic senators from around the country came together this morning to highlight the impact that they believe the Senate GOP's health care bill would have on those in their states suffering from opioid addiction.

They argued the bill's $2 billion grant funding for opioid addiction is a distraction from its Medicaid cuts that so many suffering from opioid addiction rely on — especially when their addiction is caused by other underlying health conditions that also necessitate Medicaid coverage.

"This Senate Republican health care bill would be a death sentence for those patients suffering from opioid addiction," said Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.

What other Dem senators had to say:

  • Joe Manchin (WV): "Mr. President, if the House bill didn't have a heart, the Senate bill doesn't have a soul…there's gotta be some compassion and empathy somewhere."
  • Chris Murphy (CT): "There is evil in taking money from people with addiction and handing that same dollar bill to a millionaire or a billionaire who doesn't need it."
  • Richard Blumenthal (CT): "[Opioid addiction] is a disease, not a moral failing — what is a moral failing is this bill."
  • Bob Menendez (NJ): "It's about as heartless as you can get."
  • Maggie Hassan (NH): "If we are not committed to a health care system for which every American — citizens in a democracy — has access, then we are not a democracy at all."
  • Martin Heinrich (NM): "I sincerely hope enough of my Republican colleagues hit the pause button this week to actually take a look at what's in this disastrous bill."

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

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