December 19, 2016

Sad story. Will it get sadder?

You may have already heard a lot about WV's opioid overdose issue. The short answer to the question "How bad is it?" is "Pretty damn."

Yesterday's Washington Post talks about:

a national crisis that has been worst of all in rural West Virginia, where health officials estimate that overdose rates are now eight to 10 times higher than the national average. Middle-aged white men in this part of the country have lost a full year of life expectancy during the past two decades. Middle-aged white women have lost more than two years. The opiate epidemic has essentially wiped out an entire generation of health advances, and now West Virginia has begun to focus more of its resources on prevention and preservation among the next generation entering into the void.
The crisis has even led to the creation of a new term for children who lost parents due to overdoses: opiate orphans.

Sadly, the president elect and the Republican congress want to wipe out one ray of hope for dealing with this epidemic: Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Tomorrow, health care advocates are planning to rally around the country urging that the helpful provisions of the ACA not be repealed until they are replaced. An action is also planned for Charleston, which will occur near Senator Capito's office. More on that here.

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