- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Democratic congresswoman and a leader of the Maine Medical Association say dismantling the Affordable Care Act would worsen the state’s opioid crisis.

Maine overdose deaths have climbed for five straight years, with opioid drugs like fentanyl and heroin causing most deaths. Rep. Chellie Pingree held a news conference in Portland on Friday to talk about various aspects of the Republican-backed repeal of the ACA, and one of the subjects that came up was opioids.

Gordon Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, says loss of affordable health care will “exacerbate” the problem because it will be more difficult for low income residents to access substance abuse treatment and mental health care.

Pingree says the changes will negatively impact vulnerable people who suffer from multiple health issues, including addiction.

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