Pennsylvania Townhalls

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#579
28:06 Hi, my name is Tina, I'm an attorney in Lehigh country. I want to start off by saying I'm not surprised that Senator Toomey is not here tonight. Not at all surprised. As a mother of an 18 year old boy who died of a heroin overdose in 2014, I went down to Washington a year later to give testimony before Congress so that we could pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

And I was specifically invited to meet with Senator Toomey along with other parents who had lost their children to overdoses during this epidemic. In fact, Senator Toomey wasn't there. I have to say, on behalf of the people I was with, they were very gracious about it. But we were all disappointed not to have a moment to speak to him about how critical healthcare is.

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We are in a crisis. For those who have not been touched by it I am not going to belabor it, but I want you to know that we are losing 3,200 people a year from the state of Pennsylvania alone. And it's estimated that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, that number is going to more than double. Unless the provisions that are already in this Act, and that protect people and get them the treatment they need for substance abuse are protected. Such as: kids stay on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26 (applause). And that group of people is being hardest hit by the epidemic. We are losing an entire generation of young people to overdose deaths.

And I'm not going to get into an argument about it, it's a disease, it's been proven, it's medically proven (applause). For those of you who are in recovery I salute you, I applaud you (applause).

It's one more reason that you need to speak out and ask Senator Toomey what he is going to do to make sure that our children and adults who are struggling with addition are covered by health insurance without a cap. Because I can tell you from personal experience that when you have someone who has an addiction the amount of medical bills can easily exceed a million dollars. Especially when you are trying to get decent rehab, and that is what is necessary in order to lick this disease.

So I thank you for listening, and I hope that you will do everything you can because we don't need to lose any more beautiful people.

This from a transcription of the 2/21/2017 Allentown constituent town hall held by Pennsylvania voters. The Senator was invited but did not attend. The text has been lightly edited for clarity. Please e-mail pa.votervoices@gmail.com with any corrections.

The video can be viewed here.

Topic SearchWords: AskedToomey, 2017, AffordableCareAct, ACARepeal, CoverageCap, OpioidAddiction
District Keywords: Pennsylvania Representative to United States Senate Class 1, PatToomey

To contact Senator Toomey:
Office website: http://toomey.senate.gov
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Twitter: @SenToomey