Commission to tackle painkiller addiction is being called redundant, as Trump plays catch up with an issue thats been a priority concern for years
The White House plan to address the opioid crisis runs counter to the Trump administrations health and justice policies, said politicians and advocates.
The administration on Wednesday announced it was launching a commission to study the crisis, which sees 91 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Opioid abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States, Donald Trump said on Wednesday. And I think its almost untalked about compared to the severity that were witnessing.
Yet, the almost untalked about issue addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin, and other opioids has for years been at the forefront of federal health agency concerns. Congress has presented an unusually united front in its commitment to responding to the crisis, adopting federal policies that mirror legislation in states across the political spectrum. And Trumps centerpiece plan to convene a commission that develops recommendations on the drug crisis is viewed by many as redundant.
In November 2016, the surgeon generals office published a nonpartisan report to outline solutions and recommendations.
I dont know that there is a lot of enthusiasm for a new commission report because that seems to presuppose that we dont actually know what needs to be done, said Daniel Raymond, policy director at the Harm Reduction Coalition, a drug policy advocacy group.
In fact, Raymond says the White Houses existing health and justice policies contradict pre-existing policy recommendations. Progress is threatened, advocates say, by White House efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and the justice departments stance toward drug policy.
I dont know how you square the circle by saying we care about the opioid crisis, then cut budgets, cut access to healthcare and beef up law enforcement strategies rather than providing services and support, said Raymond.