Washington, D.C. — A new video relays the personal testimonial of Paul Breidenbach, a Cincinnati, Ohio, native whose son, Andy, passed away at the age of 27 after battling an addiction to heroin. The costs for Andy’s medication finally became affordable under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) acceptance of Medicaid expansion. Breidenbach says that many in Washington believe that people who suffer from addiction are undeserving of treatment. As Breidenbach explains, Rep. Steve Chabot’s (R-OH-1) vote to repeal health care protections and ongoing efforts to do so puts families of countless others affected by the opioid crisis at risk.
Watch the video on Twitter.
Watch the video on YouTube.
As Breidenbach states in the video, “You may feel like you are going to look soft on crime or something, but you’re on the wrong side of history. Caring for people who are addicted, that is crucial. Medicaid was a godsend for keeping my son alive that amount of time. … If there’s no treatment available or if treatment costs so much that you either have to mortgage the house or be rich, that’s a system that’s not working.”
The video is part of an ongoing effort by the Center for American Progress Action Fund to provide a platform for real Americans who are being negatively affected by the GOP’s donor-driven agenda.
Unfortunately, this story is familiar to many Ohioans battling addiction to opioids. Across Ohio, millions of people depend on Medicaid and the private insurance under the ACA, and recent data show that 3,613 Ohioans battling opioid addictions have died. According to a CAP analysis, nearly 306,400 people of working age in Ohio’s 1st district live with pre-existing conditions, including many suffering from addiction.
Rep. Chabot has long promised to repeal Obamacare and voted to do so. As part of the Republican tax bill, he also voted to repeal the individual mandate, which will likely cause premiums to be as much as $800 higher than they otherwise would be for Ohioans. According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, nearly 360,000 Ohioans will lose health care and pre-existing protections if the ACA is repealed in the future.
For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Jesse Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-741-6350.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.