BEND, OR -- President Trump signed an Executive Order, Thursday, he says starts the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act. On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare; however, Congress has failed to pass healthcare legislation. Trump says the Executive Order will increase healthcare competition and choice, while improving quality of care and lowering prices. The White House also announced plans Thursday to end subsidy payments to insurance companies, which help low-income Americans pay for coverage.
Bend Police Chief Jim Porter is concerned about how changes to Obamacare could impact the local fight against opioid addiction. "The discussions are going on right now in Washington, DC about rolling back the Affordable Care Act – this provides funding to get people into rehabilitation; to get them back to being a functional member of our society and moving them away from this. Now, the mixed messages we’re getting out of Washington, DC is, ‘we’re going to rollback the Affordable Care Act.’ It’s a seesaw back and forth, [and] every week they’re changing directions."
He participated in an opioid roundtable discussion with Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) in Bend this week,
and urged the lawmaker to support continued funding for treatment centers through the Affordable Care Act. "It’d be impossible for our local service providers, who provide rehabilitation and treatment for these drugs, to plan. How do they plan out if they don’t know what revenue stream is going to be coming in? Yet, they have to deal with it." Chief Porter tells KBND News healthcare has become a political football, which is hurting local treatment providers, "We cannot be going back and forth, herky jerking around; it does not serve anybody. But, we need some stability on this if we’re actually going to deal with that affect; and it is affecting Bend. And so, we need some stability there for our service and treatment providers. It’s much cheaper to put somebody into rehabilitation and treatment than it is for my officers to chase them, handcuff them, take them to jail, [and] have them go through the court system. We need to get ahead of this." Porter says Congressman Walden committed to looking into his concerns.
to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, or visit our Podcast Page