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In Va., Kaine and Stewart offer differing views on the opioid crisis - Source Washington post

Posted on Sep 05,2018
Filed Under Local Politics , Politics,

Last year set a record for overdose-related deaths nationwide, many from abuse of opioids. (Patrick Sison/AP)

Source Washington post

By Antonio Olivo

WASHINGTON, DC. - Something both candidates in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race can agree on is the fact that opioid addiction has torn through the state, with 1,229 people dead from overdoses last year and thousands more in prison for crimes related to addiction.

Where Republican Corey A. Stewart and Sen. Tim Kaine (D) disagree is the cause behind the growing problem and how to fix it, differences the candidates have highlighted while touring areas of the state that have been hit hardest by what officials deemed a public health emergency in 2016.

Stewart, chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, says Medicaid is to blame, arguing that it provides the drug at low cost to Medicaid patients who, he says, then sell it on the black market to addicts. He says Virginia’s recent Medicaid expansion — benefiting an extra 400,000 low-income patients — will make the problem worse. Stewart wants to require Medicaid recipients to pay more for their synthetic painkillers.

But he offers flimsy evidence to support his claims.

Source Washington post

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