Senate Republicans amend health care plan to fight opioid epidemic, health experts skeptical

In an effort to win support for their health care bill, Senate Republicans added a $45 billion amendment designed to treat those suffering from opioid addiction.

A move that many health experts say doesn’t sufficiently cover the thousands in need of help, especially after the Republican endorsed plan rolls back Medicaid expansion.

Under the Affordable Care Act, medicaid treated hundreds of thousands of people abusing opioids throughout the country.

According to TONI, the Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative, the state of Texas ranks second in the nation in opioid related health care costs.

Thus far, the state has spent a total of 1.9 billion on opioid care alone.

Here at home in the Brazos Valley, community members are fighting back against the epidemic.

Local Health Care organizers hosted an opioid training session to educate the public on abuse and overdoses.

Mark Kinzly, a speaker at the session and former abuser, says that a lot of expenditures are needed to fight the epidemic.

“Prescription drug monitoring programs are helpful,” starts Kinzly. “Educational programs and access to life saving medications are helpful. Greater access to drug treatment beds, really helpful, prescribing practices. These are all things were going to have to address in order for this epidemic to go away.”

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