In Letter to Leader McConnell, Shaheen and Hassan Call Trumpcare Disastrous for New Hampshire’s Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic

**Republican healthcare plan would jeopardize coverage for millions of Americans suffering from a substance use disorder**

March 21, 2017

(Washington, DC) – As New Hampshire continues to combat the devastating opioid epidemic, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) joined a group of 19 senators in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling on him not to take up any legislation that would further harm individuals struggling with an opioid use disorder. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act could strip health care coverage from millions of Americans suffering from a substance use disorder, including thousands of Granite Staters. In the letter, the senators point to the fact that 12 percent of adult Medicaid beneficiaries live with some form or a substance abuse disorder, and Medicaid finances one-third of the medication-assisted treatment administered for opioid and other substance use disorders in the country.

“The bill removes the requirement that insurers provide minimum levels of coverage for the cost of covered services, which will mean that consumers will have to pay more out-of-pocket for their health care needs. This, coupled with insufficient premium tax credits, the repeal of the cost-sharing subsidies, and high-risk pools, will substantially hinder access to care for those with mental health and substance use disorders,” write the senators in their letter to Leader McConnell. “Given that lack of insurance coverage and an inability to afford care often result in individuals forgoing substance use disorder treatment, this proposal could very literally translate into a death spiral for those with opioid use disorders.”

Other senators signing the letter include Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.V.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

A copy of the letter can be found HERE