Shaheen, Hassan Say Healthcare Repeal Would Be Disastrous to New Hampshire’s Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic

May 16, 2017

**SHAHEEN: Republican healthcare repeal legislation would “take a wrecking ball to efforts to address treatment for the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire”**

**Shaheen and Hassan led a press conference with Senators Whitehouse, Manchin, Baldwin, ‎and Markey**

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(Washington, DC) — Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) led a press conference with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), ‎and Edward Markey (D-MA) to highlight the disastrous impact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire and around the country. The senators represent states that have been hit the hardest by the opioid epidemic.

“Unfortunately, we are only four months into this new administration, and so far President Trump has only put forward policies and supported initiatives that would be enormous setbacks to state and local efforts to turn the tide of this crisis,” said Senator Shaheen. “The greatest threat that we are seeing comes from the so-called American Health Care Act, that was passed by the House. This legislation decimates the Medicaid expansion and gets rid of the requirement that insurance plans cover substance misuse treatment. It would essentially take a wrecking ball to efforts to address the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire.”

Shaheen continued, “The two parts of the Affordable Care Act that have been most successful in helping us address this epidemic are the expansion of Medicaid that provides access to treatment for people with substance use disorders and the requirement that mental health treatment has coverage parity with other diseases.”

Shaheen also mentioned legislation she is introducing with Senator Hassan to reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which directs the National Drug Control Strategy and acts as the lead federal agency working to coordinate policy to combat the opioid epidemic.

“The other concern I have with what is being proposed by this administration is both the dramatic cuts to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program and the Drug Free Communities grant program, which are both a part of the ONDCP. These are critical tools that states like New Hampshire are using with great effectiveness,” said Senator Shaheen. “That's why Senator Hassan and I are introducing legislation today to protect the ONDCP and reauthorize it for five years.”