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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Hassan, Kuster Denounce Efforts to Leverage Insufficient Opioid Funding to Pass Republican Healthcare Bill

Jul 6, 2017
Press Release

(Concord, N.H.) - Today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined healthcare providers, treatment and recovery experts, and people in recovery at Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord to highlight the impact of Senate Republicans’ healthcare legislation on mental health and substance misuse resources and treatment in New Hampshire. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill would cut $772 billion from the Medicaid program by 2026. Recently, it’s been reported that Senate Republican Leadership is attempting to use insufficient, one-time opioid funding to distract from the massive Medicaid cuts included in the Republican healthcare bill, which would devastate efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

Hassan and Kuster were joined by Peter Evers, Chief Executive Officer of Riverbend Community Mental Health; Linda Saunders Paquette, President and CEO of New Futures, and Mary Steady, Director of the Office of Student Wellness at New Hampshire Department of Education, among others.

“Health care providers like Riverbend Community Mental Health are on the front lines of combating our heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis, and we need to ensure that they have the support they need to help save lives,” said Senator Hassan. “Unfortunately, Republicans in Washington are trying to push through a dangerous health care bill that would devastate our efforts to combat this crisis. I will continue to fight back against this bill, and I urge those on the front lines to continue speaking out and making clear that Trumpcare would pull us backward.”

“Republicans in Congress are trying to pull a bait and switch on the American people,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Onetime funding addressed at the opioid epidemic isn’t going to solve this long-term challenge. People need access to a full host of healthcare services to stay healthy and productive and gutting Medicaid will jeopardize access to healthcare for thousands of Granite Staters. I appreciate the perspective of healthcare providers, like those at Riverbend Community Mental Health, who know firsthand how important it is for patients to have access to a full host of healthcare services, and how devastating the Republican healthcare bill would be for people seeking this kind of care.”

“Riverbend was pleased to host Senator Hassan and Congresswoman Kuster for a conversation about health care, specifically behavioral health care,” said Peter Evers, CEO of Riverbend Community Mental Health. “These conversations are important and right now they are vital as we contemplate the damage that the new health care laws might do to an already fragile system. We have two wonderful leaders who are tackling this issue head on.”