Health Care, Opioid Crisis Focus of GOP Gubernatorial Forum

October 23, 2017 11:41 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Last week, five of the DFL candidates running for governor gave their take on health care in Minnesota during a forum in Rochester.  Monday night, it was the Republican's turn.

The Rochester Community and Technical College Heintz Center was packed with people wanting to know what the four GOP candidates had to say about health care.

Candidates touched on prescription drugs for seniors and mental health.  They also talked about what they would do as governor to improve the opioid crisis in Minnesota.


“Number one, ensure that people are not getting massive supplies and being able to sell it on the street, but number two, also not being able to doctor hop and doctor shop where they can hop from doctor to doctor to get these opioids so that they're able to transmit them to people that shouldn't have them,” Republican gubernatorial candidate David Osmek said.  

“It's a new arena for a lot of folks in the treatment industry who don't like to use other medications to try and treat somebody who's currently addicted, but they've proven to be successful and I think we can have more success there,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Keith Downey said.

“The treatment piece is the most important piece,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson said. “The long term treatment for those who are addicted, and it's not an easy or cheap answer, but there are answers that work, and there's also the short-term piece, making sure our EMTs have proper training in what they call the antagonist like Narcan that can deal with somebody who's about to die.”

“It's not just law enforcement, it's not just prescribing, it's a social problem that we all have to deal with, but it is an actual epidemic,” Republican candidate for governor Matt Dean said. “The one thing we should not do is push people out [towards] illegal drugs, and that is one of the unintended consequences that we want to avoid.”

One thing they all agreed on was to support private health care and not switch to any kind of universal health care system.

The election for Minnesota's next governor is in just over a year.


Elise Romas

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