Political News

The Latest: Governors discuss ways to curb opioid abuse

Posted July 13

— The Latest on the National Governors Association meeting in Rhode Island (all times local):

7 p.m.

U.S. governors meeting in Rhode Island say they're frustrated more progress hasn't been made in combatting the opioid overdose epidemic and they share a sense of urgency in addressing it.

More than 20 governors discussed ways to curb opioid abuse Thursday during the National Governors Association summer meeting in Providence.

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told the other governors he has "had enough" and he knows they have too.

Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker spoke about how crucial it is to address the overprescribing of prescription pain medications in the U.S.

Several governors stressed the importance of attacking the problem from multiple angles, including prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement.

The acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy moderated the discussion.

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3:15 p.m.

U.S. governors meeting in Rhode Island are having mixed reactions to the unveiling of the new health care bill, with some Democrats calling it a nonstarter and some Republicans heralding it as progress.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell released the bill Thursday. It would allow insurers to sell low-cost, skimpy policies and would add billions to combat opioid abuse and help states rein in consumers' skyrocketing insurance costs.

Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the president promised that everybody would get coverage, it would cost less and there would be better results. He says the new plan doesn't do any of that.

But Republican Govs. Matt Bevin, of Kentucky, and Asa Hutchinson, of Arkansas, say the new bill represents progress. Bevin says he thinks it puts more of an emphasis on state control and flexibility to design health care programs.

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8:30 a.m.

Some of the nation's governors are meeting this week in Rhode Island to discuss the biggest challenges facing their states.

Some issues include the possibility of major changes to Medicaid and states' health insurances marketplaces under the Republican health care plan in Congress, the ongoing opioid epidemic and the impact of climate change.

The National Governors Association is holding three days of meetings in Providence, beginning Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are expected to address the gathering.

Governors from more than 30 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have said they'll attend.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to introduce a revised health care bill Thursday that the vice president says will "begin the end" of former President Barack Obama's health care law.

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