Governors Association Meeting Highlights Bipartisan Nature of Opioid Battle

Pence on health care'Inaction is not an option

Pence on health care'Inaction is not an option

US governors meeting in Rhode Island say they're frustrated more progress hasn't been made in combatting the opioid overdose epidemic and they share a sense of urgency in addressing it.

Pence tells United States governors it's time for "end of Obamacare": Jennifer McDermott of the Associated Press reports: Vice President Mike Pence told a bipartisan gathering of governors on Friday that he and President Donald Trump believe the revised health care bill before the U.S. Senate is the "right bill at the right time to begin the end of Obamacare".

But the governors, including Republicans Charlie Baker of MA and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, pushed back on the administration's sunnier assessments. Dean Heller of Nevada, a possible swing vote.

"Right now, I'm just grateful that I do have [coverage]", he said. "I'm going to inform him about how I feel about the bill".

Whether a particular veteran qualifies for coverage through the VA depends on a host of variables that she said leaves many with Medicaid as their only option.

The White House is pushing GOP governors hard in public and in private to back the Senate bill, reports The Washington Post, but four governors insist the bill will impact their most vulnerable residents.

Medicaid coverage recently has become especially important to Ramos - a routine checkup and blood test this year showed he's infected with hepatitis C. California was one of the states that chose to expand Medicaid, and the program covers Ramos' costly treatment to eliminate the virus.

A majority of states took the deal and are now anxious about losing the federal money they relied on to provide healthcare to millions of their residents.

The revised Senate GOP proposal still calls for cutting $772 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years by phasing out the expansion program and making deep cuts starting in 2025.

Under the partnership, CVS will make a $250,000 contribution to the Community Care Alliance, a social services and health care agency also based in Woonsocket, to open and operate the center.

Further, many governors aligned themselves with their counterparts from Canada and Mexico, and welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the keynote speaker Friday, marking the first time a foreign leader has addressed the conference.

Not surprisingly, Democratic governors are highly critical of the plan.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says Republicans in Congress are "still trying to put lipstick on a pig, but guess what?"

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona said this week that the Senate bill "needs a lot of work".

"It's one of the main reasons I came out against it", Sununu said in a brief interview.

Sandoval had characterized his reaction to the latest Republican health care bill as one of "great concern" immediately after it was released Thursday.

But Republican Govs. Matt Bevin, of Kentucky, and Asa Hutchinson, of Arkansas, say the new bill represents progress. "The reality is this was supposed to create more opportunity for people, but it's had the exact opposite effect".