Gov. Scott Walker declared the opioid epidemic a "public health emergency" and called a special legislative session to pass legislation to deal with the crisis.

Deaths per thousand from opioid addiction have more than doubled since 2003 in both Dane County and Wisconsin. But repeal of the Affordable Care Act could mean a big step backward in terms of funding treatment for opioid treatment.

Obamacare requires parity between mental health and substance abuse treatment and medical and surgical services. Simply put, insurance companies finally are required to reimburse the costs of treating substance abuse in the same way they reimburse other medical problems.

Under the current health care law, people trying to get help with their opioid addiction have been able to pay for their treatment. Let's hope Gov. Walker and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, speak out to preserve this important benefit.

Katie Mulligan, Madison

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