Any Serious Plan To Address The Opioid Crisis Must Start With Expanding Medicaid

Tennessee (January 22, 2018) –  Ahead of Governor Haslam and Speaker Harwell’s announcement on their plan to address the opioid crisis, Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party released the following statement:

“Tennessee families have been ripped apart by addiction. Everyone claims to agree that the solution is greater access to treatment programs. For years now, the most significant opportunity to expand access treatment was to pass the bipartisan Insure TN plan, agreed to by Governor Haslam and Democrats. Deputy Speaker of the House, Republican Steve McDaniel, acknowledged that it was forces in his own party that are responsible for the recent Decatur County hospital closure, the 10th to shutter since 2010, because of their unwillingness to accept this comprise. In total Tennessee taxpayers have lost over $3.5 billion in funding that is rightfully theirs that would have aided families coping with addiction. Over 1,600 Tennessee families lost a loved one just last year because of this crisis. Whatever plan Speaker Harwell and Governor Haslam announce today, if it doesn’t start with expanding Medicaid, it isn’t a serious one.”