Sen. Shilling statement on limited opioid response
Substance abuse worsens amid GOP cuts, attacks on Affordable Care Act
“We seem to be going backwards when it comes to treating mental health and substance use disorders in Wisconsin,” said Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “It doesn’t make sense to wait until someone is already hooked and battling an opioid addiction. By improving health care access and restoring drug abuse prevention grants, we can get to the root of the opioid epidemic rather than simply scratching the surface.”
Individuals have pointed to Republican state budget cuts and limits on health care access as significant challenges that have exacerbated Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic. Local leaders, law enforcement officials and health advocates have urged lawmakers to restore funding, promote health care access and adopt a more comprehensive plan to address mental health and substance abuse challenges.
“The federal health care repeal backed by Gov. Walker and Republican lawmakers would be a devastating setback in our fight against opioid abuse,” added Shilling. “Without access to critical health services and counselling, individuals who are living with a mental illness or substance use disorder won’t be able to get the help they need. Rather than denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, raising out-of-pocket costs and taking health insurance away from more than 390,000 Wisconsin residents, we should be expanding access to health care and substance abuse treatment.”