Dominion Post: Rep. McKinley’s priorities: Opioids, health care and economic revitalization

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Washington, October 11, 2018 | comments
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va. visited Morgantown on Friday and spent some time with The Dominion Post to review some of the action in Congress. McKinley cited three priorities: Opioids, health care and economic revitalization. McKinley said President Trump recently signed a package of 57 opioid bills. They covered a blend of issues: Enforcement, rehabilitation and education among others.
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Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va. visited Morgantown on Friday and spent some time with The Dominion Post to review some of the action in Congress.

McKinley cited three priorities: Opioids, health care and economic revitalization.

McKinley said President Trump recently signed a package of 57 opioid bills. They covered a blend of issues: Enforcement, rehabilitation and education among others.

Four of the bills were his, he said. “Think about that, the odds of that. I’m one person out of 435.” In the legislation was what he called the McKinley amendment, guaranteeing that 15 percent of all the money allocated to the states has to go to those that are hardest hit, including West Virginia.

Following a May meeting McKinley organized at WVU with the National Institutes of Health – offering tips on obtaining federal grants – discussion ensued, he said about “What’s causing people to use drugs?”

Money is spent on getting them off, getting them treatment. “Why don’t we go back and find out why are they on drugs in the first place?”

He knows there will be no single reason, no silver bullet. “Let’s at least find out.”

McKinley noted that West Virginia is now getting five times the amount of federal money from the year before. “I think raising Cain in Washington sometimes, is actually paying off, being the squeaky wheel.”

Recently, when another state turned down a $3.2 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant, SAMSHA called to see if West Virginia wanted it. They didn’t have to do that, he said. “They understand this is one of our passions.”

Health care

On the topic of health care, McKinley addressed the fear that legislation to reform the Affordable Care Act could wipe out protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

When Trump made his recent visit to Wheeling, McKinley said, “He made it clear in front of the rally, just put that to rest. We are going to continue to provide for pre-existing conditions, period.” He won’t approve any legislation that comes to him without it.

And Congress won’t be rolling back the Medicaid expansion either, he said. In West Virginia, 200,000 got healthcare through it. A bill will contain provisions so that Medicaid funding can’t fall below existing levels, and will automatically increase geared to the Consumer Price Index.

“We don’t want to take insurance away from 200,000 people.”

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