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Weekly Update: Supporting Pennsylvania’s Workers, Fighting the Opioid Crisis, and Learning How to Best Combat Gun Violence

By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf

March 05, 2018

Supporting Workers

Last Monday, Governor Wolf issued a statement supporting Pennsylvania’s workers as the Supreme Court of the United States hears opening arguments on Janus v. AFSCME.

“Here in Pennsylvania we are going to fight for working families. A living wage and strong unions for workers will allow our economy to grow and strengthen Pennsylvania’s middle class. As the Supreme Court hears this case, we will do everything in our power to make sure Pennsylvanians can join together to fight for the good, union jobs our communities need.”

Opioid Crisis

On Thursday, Governor Wolf continued his fight against the opioid epidemic when he announced an initiative to remove barriers for people receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder.

The governor announced that Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program will be waiving prior authorization requirements for evidence-based opioid use disorder treatments. These FDA-approved MATs, when combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, are proven strategies for reducing addiction relapse and improving the chance for recovery.

“If even one person is delayed access to the treatment they need, it is one person too many,” Governor Wolf said. “Over the coming months, my administration will be reaching out to each of the commercial payers and the Medicaid managed care organizations to begin discussions around similar policies with the goal of creating consistency in coverage across the health care sector in Pennsylvania.”

Additionally, on Wednesday, Governor Wolf outlined the first year success rates of the Centers of Excellence (COE). Over 10,000 individuals have received a level of care assessment, 71% of individuals that have been seen seen by a COE engaged in treatment, and 62% stayed in treatment for at least 30 days.

Last week’s progress builds on steps the governor has already taken to address this looming public health issue. He has implemented 45 centers of excellence that will treat nearly 11,000 people with substance abuse disorder, signed Pennsylvania’s Statewide Disaster Declaration to enhance statewide response, and equipped law enforcement, first responders, and schools with the overdose-reversing antidote naloxone. For a full list of what Governor Wolf has done to combat this epidemic, visit the governor’s Action Plan for Pennsylvania here.

Gun Violence

Governor Wolf wrapped up the week by joining with Representative Jordan Harris and Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman Charles Ramsey for a listening session on gun violence in Philadelphia. They listened to families, medical practitioners, clergy, and funeral directors, and heard personal stories on how gun violence has affected their lives, families, and communities.

“Today’s visit is about hearing directly from members of the community about how gun violence is impacting Philadelphia,” said Governor Wolf. “It is important for my administration to learn what policies are needed to prevent individuals who have illegally possessed firearms from committing violent acts.”

Governor Wolf’s Week, February 25, 2018 – March 03, 2018

Monday, 2/26/18
Tuesday, 2/27/18
Wednesday, 2/28/18
Thursday, 3/1/18
Friday, 3/2/18
Saturday, 3/3/2018

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