YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act has been a big talking point of the new presidential administration. Completely revoking the law could jeopardize medical coverage for people with mental health issues or those who are addicted to drugs.
Ohio senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman have different views on what should happen to the ACA going forward — but both say they have concerns if the law is repealed.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says three out of 10 people who have health coverage through Medicaid expansion have a mental disorder or are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown says 200,000 Ohioans get treatment for opiate addiction because they are insured under the Affordable Care Act.
“If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, it’s a serious, serious, serious problem,” Brown said. “Those 200,000 people who are right in the middle of their treatment could lose it. That’s why a lot of us are pushing back against the Affordable Care Act repeal.”
Reports are saying political leaders could introduce new legislation surrounding Obamacare in the upcoming week.
Republican Senator Rob Portman is holding his ground, saying the ACA does not work for the people of Ohio and needs replaced. Ohio is one of 31 states with expanded Medicaid, giving almost a half million people access to health coverage.
Portman says anyone under the expansion needs to still have options if Obamacare is repealed.
“I’m particularly concerned in Ohio, because people under expanded medicaid could lose treatment for drug abuse and mental health care,” Portman said.