Tom Perez on Trump’s Opioid Declaration
October 26, 2017
DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency, instead of a national emergency as he promised:
“Ohio families struggling with opioid addiction need meaningful action. That’s why Democrats have fought to protect and expand funding for opioid addiction treatment, including through the Affordable Care Act and state programs across the country. But instead of focusing on prevention, treatment, and recovery, Trump and Republicans have tried to take away people’s health care and gut funding for this national emergency. Just this week, Republicans in Congress passed a budget that cuts more than a trillion dollars from Medicare and Medicaid. If President Trump plans to take this crisis seriously, he should back up his declaration with action and veto the heartless Republican budget.
“Democrats believe that this urgent crisis demands an aggressive response. Every day, the opioid epidemic takes lives and tears families apart. That’s why Democrats will keep working to expand access to treatment and provide more resources to those affected.”
Impact of the opioid epidemic in Ohio:
- Ohio leads the nation in opioid-related overdose deaths – more than 4,000 Ohioans died of a drug overdose in 2016 – a 33 percent increase from 2015.
- On average, 11 Ohioans died each day last year from a drug overdose.
- Medicaid is the single biggest resource to fight this crisis in Ohio. The program provides about $650 million of the almost $1 billion the state spends annually on dealing with the opioid epidemic.
- More than 150,000 Ohioans with addiction or mental health illness now have coverage through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.