Republican budget ignores heroin crisis

The current version of the House Republican budget ignores the heroin crisis and threatens the ability of many Pennsylvania counties to provide mental health services.


State cuts would reduce services for mental health patients in counties that already were forced to eliminate services during the last round of Republican budget cuts.


Reducing or eliminating support for people with developmental disabilities will leave many families with stark and painful choices.


They'll be forced to care for their loved ones at home on their own, or place them in an institution.


The cuts would further impact nearly every family in the state by interfering with Pennsylvania's ability to address the growing heroin abuse and addiction crisis.


A recent report shows that hospital admissions for heroin and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 2010 in Pennsylvania.


This growing crisis is having a devastating impact on families, communities and taxpayers.


The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council estimates heroin-related hospital admissions alone cost $27 million last year.


The cuts in the Republican budget would deny treatment to 1,200 people not eligible for Medicaid.


That many people losing access to treatment creates additional public safety and healthcare costs that Pennsylvania cannot afford to bear.


Counties and healthcare providers in Pennsylvania have excelled at doing more with less -- but they can't do more with nothing.


The state cuts under Republican budgets have forced counties to raise local taxes.


Pennsylvania needs a bipartisan state budget that puts families and communities first -- one that doesn't shift more of the financial and social burden to the middle class while inviting big corporations and the wealthy to skip out on their responsibilities.