Officer Ryan Holets is a true role model, one of the many dedicated Americans who work hard every day to fight our nation’s raging opioid crisis. Sadly, President Trump is not among them. For those Americans who had hoped that Trump might address this raging epidemic with the urgency it deserves, tonight’s hollow words echo last year’s broken promises. In reality, Trump has done nothing to facilitate treatment for Americans struggling with addiction, and his attacks on critical federal health care and opioid response programs threaten to make the situation worse:
- The window-dressing public health emergency declaration the President touted in tonight’s speech freed up a fund worth only $57,000, falling pathetically short of the billions that experts say are desperately needed to combat the crisis.
- The House repeal bill that President Trump supported would make the opioid crisis worse by eliminating parity requirements for mental health and addiction coverage, and through drastic Medicaid cuts that put states on the hook for the huge cost of dealing with the epidemic.
- The Trump Administration has relentlessly attacked and sabotaged Medicaid, which helps people with opioid addiction receive care, paying for one-fifth of all substance abuse treatment nationwide.
- This month, the Trump Administration proposed a 95% cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is charged with coordinating the federal response to the nation’s raging opioid crisis – for the second year in a row.
When you add it all up, the Trump Administration is not only offering a pathetic response to the nation’s most urgent public health crisis, it is actively sabotaging communities that are fighting to turn the tide on this deadly epidemic.