WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
You Drive Public Radio - Make your donation now
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Senator Bill Nelson Wants to Keep ACA, while Governor Rick Scott Wants it Repealed: How the Opioid Epidemic Could be Affected by the Election


Play Audio
Addiction is a pre-existing condition which means fewer people affected by the opioid crisis might have access to treatment. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Addiction is a pre-existing condition which means fewer people affected by the opioid crisis might have access to treatment. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Senator Bill Nelson called renewed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act quote “irresponsible.” Nelson was speaking at an addiction treatment center in Orlando today.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act would reverse protections for people with preexisting conditions.

Psychoanalyst Dr. David March says insurance companies consider substance abuse disorders preexisting conditions, but under Obamacare, his patients can’t be charged higher premiums or denied coverage if they relapse.

“The effects of people not getting treatment would mean there were more homeless people, more broken families, and just poorer health in general as people who are addicted tend to have poorer health.”

That’s why Senator Bill Nelson says Medicaid needs to be expanded in Florida as a safety net. He’s especially concerned about people losing treatment for substance abuse disorders during the height of an opioid crisis:

“And Florida is one of the places of the greatest opioid epidemics. The state of Florida relaxed its recommendations and it didn’t crack down on these pill mills.”

Nelson’s opponent Governor Rick Scott supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, while keeping protections for people with preexisting conditions. But he did declare a statewide public health emergency in 2017, making more than 27 million dollars in federal funding available to provide prevention and treatment.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation more than 2,700 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016 in the state. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell told reporters repealing the health law will be one of the priorities of the upcoming Congressional session along with possibly cutting budgets for programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis in Orange County help is available through the Heart of Florida United Way by texting opioid to TXT-211 (898-211). 

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above. 


Support 90.7 WMFE

Stories like these are made possible by contributions from readers and listeners like you.

DONATE NOW

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter

Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

TOP