Linda Delaney: We’ll be watching |

Linda Delaney: We’ll be watching

During the last five years, more people have died from overdosing on drugs like hydrocodone and oxycodone than died from homicide in Colorado, and some of those have been our neighbors in Routt County.

Earlier this month, Scott Tipton, our 3rd District Congressional representative, posted a commentary touting his co-sponsorship of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that provides grants to explore better ways to provide prenatal treatment for addicted women and prevent neonatal abstinence syndrome. That’s a very good thing, and hopefully, indicates his genuine focus on the opioid abuse epidemic facing Colorado.

If that concern is genuine, he will vote against the current HR 277, the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and vote to support the citizens of Colorado and the 3rd Congressional District. Statistically, substance abuse most affects those who are currently eligible for Medicaid. In Routt County, 10.3 percent of the adult population, or 2,583 residents (as of January 2017 data) are enrolled in Medicaid and that does not include those under 21 who are also enrolled.

According to multiple reviews of HR 277, 10.4 million people nationwide who get treatment for substance abuse through Medicaid will no longer have it if the bill passes, let alone the 8 million people who receive mental health support.

So if Rep. Tipton is sincere, he will vote against HR 277 and vote for his congressional district and the 1.4 million Colorado residents who are enrolled in Medicaid.

We’ll watch — and remember.

Linda Delaney

Steamboat Springs

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