Ohio Governor Slams ‘Anemic’ Funding To Treat Opioid Addiction
July 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—Speaking yesterday on ABC’s This Week program, Ohio Governor John Kasich slammed Republicans who are offering to include a $45 billion fund to treat opioid addiction in the Senate healthcare bill as a "sweetener," in what Kasich said was an attempt to "buy off" moderates, and obtain the 51 votes needed to ensure passage, thinkprogress.org website reported.
"If they’re proposing to give $45 billion [in funding for addiction treatment] over 10 years, I’m getting almost $300 million, $600 million a year. That would give me a billion over ten years? Not even quite that. It’s anemic. It’s like spitting in the ocean. It’s not enough."
"Everyone is focused on the drug problem because it’s unbelievable," Kasich said.
"It’s horrific, and we all know it. It’s not just Medicaid and the fact that there’s not enough money in Medicaid legitimately to treat people and be able to reform the program. It’s the entire bill and the entire package."
There is wide agreement in Congress that Obamacare needs significant reform, Kasich said, but argued that President Trump’s latest call to repeal it now and replace it later is also not an option.
"You can’t do nothing, and you can’t do something that dismantles the whole program," he added. The Senate bill shouldn’t be rushed through, he continued.
"It can’t be done in a slipshod way just looking at lines on a paper, because the lines, actually, are filled with blood, the blood of people that would be affected."
Nationwide, the opioid epidemic continues to ravage the American population. On July 1, The Washington Post reported alarming details on how the U.S. foster care and social services system is completely overwhelmed by the number of babies born to drug-addicted mothers, without the resources to provide adequate foster care and other forms of assistance. In the state of Maine alone, 1,000 babies are born each year addicted to drugs, but the system can’t manage the numbers, and this situation is replicated in every state in the country. More and more children/babies are being forced into the state system, because their drug-addicted parents have lost custody. State budgets are stretched; social workers are overloaded, and there aren’t enough foster parents available.