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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980000Day after day, week after week, the headlines in Northeast Ohio and across much of the country contain news of tragic loss: lives lost to opioids. It’s a problem that knows no bounds: geography, race, gender, level of education or income.The problem took on new urgency this summer as the powerful elephant sedative, Carfentanil, began hitting the streets. First responders armed with their only weapon, the overdose antidote Naloxone, have struggled to keep up with what’s become an overwhelming problem. It’s an issue that’s straining public and social resources. What has become clear is that business as usual is not going to fix the problem.WKSU news has been covering the unfolding crisis. Tuesdays during Morning Edition, the WKSU news team digs even deeper. WKSU reporters will examine what’s led us here and what might be done to turn the tide. Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980001

Northeast Ohio Congressman Ryan Calls Substance Abuse Care Cut the Biggest GOP Health Plan Problem

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KEVIN NIEDERMIER
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WKSU
Congressman Tim Ryan say the GOP health plan would hurt people caught up in the opioid epidemic

Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan says as of this morning, neither Democrats nor Republicans know which way the vote on the GOP health care bill will go. But he says if it passes, it will hurt Ohioans who depend on Obamacare for pre-natal and mental health services, and those caught up in the opioid epidemic.

“What I think is most significant for people who are on the fence, it repeals care for substance abuse. We all know the tragedies we see everyday in Ohio with regard to the heroin epidemic. There will be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who will not be able to access treatment for substance abuse.”

Ryan says the added health care costs from the GOP bill are also expected to cause 25 percent of Ohio’s hospitals to close, something he says will hit rural areas especially hard.