By Rebecca Masterson
SHIPPENSBURG – Students and Faculty came together outside the CUB on Wednesday, not just for the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic Forum but for a chance to have their voices heard.
U.S. Representative Lou Barletta’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act, ACA, could leave many without healthcare. Shippensburg University professor Dr. Kungl. “I just said ok that is very important to me, and so I made my schedule work so that I could go and be a part of that demonstration because I felt that it was really important to our congressmen know the responsibilities of their actions.” Getting rid of this act could affect both students and their families.
The Forum hosted by Barletta and Mark Keller was supposed to bring attention to the problem, but instead created a new one. Barletta called the ACA a monstrosity. However during the Forum he seemed quite empathetic. “We are making the public aware of this opioid epidemic and it is an epidemic.” Dr. Kungl was unable to attend the Forum but said, “You can’t say that this is really important to you but on the other hand say but I’m going to vote so that potentially care is going to be taken from you.” With no mention of a back-up plan for if the ACA is taken away, healthcare could be made harder to get for those who need it most
“If Lou Barletta really cares about Pennsylvania, the members of his community, he needs to understand that the affordable care act is saving lives.” A protester stated before the Forum.
Shippensburg’s Chief of Police, Fred Scott is concerned with how much easier it is to get drugs. “These last few years Shippensburg Boro has become a serious, serious issue with heroin and overdose with people.” Dr. Kunl also states “There were 63,000 people who got help from Medicare under the ACA in 2015 for opioid addiction. What’s going to happen to those people once the ACA is taken away?” The question remains until Barletta makes his decision.