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Senate Dems: GOP health bill is a disaster for opioid addiction

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."