Trump Failed To Adequately Combat The Opioid Epidemic
August 26, 2020
Kellyanne Conway claimed Trump has taken “unprecedented action” to combat the opioid epidemic. The truth? Trump failed to adequately address the opioid crisis that continues to ravage our country.
Despite Trump’s claims of “tremendous progress” on combating the opioid crisis, overdose rates remained high.
Los Angeles Times: “Before coronavirus failures, Trump struggled to slow drug overdoses”
Los Angeles Times: “Fatal overdoses in 2019 were up more than 10% from 2016, federal data show. And across the country, public health officials, researchers and physicians say that despite some progress expanding drug treatment, the administration has largely failed to mobilize the kind of broad, national effort needed to save more lives.”
Vox: “2018’s overdose death toll was still the second highest in US history (after 2017), and there are red flags in the data that suggest things could still get even worse.”
Trump did not declare a national emergency on the opioid crisis, despite his opioid commission’s recommendation and a promise to do so.
Politico: “Trump’s emergency order on opioids falls short of promises”
Washington Post: “Trump ignores his own commission’s advice on opioids.”
The GAO found Trump’s declaration of a public health emergency did little to combat the opioid crisis.
Vox: “A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at the results of that emergency declaration. The report found little came out of the declaration.”
Members of Trump’s own opioid commission said their work was a “sham.”
CNN: “The Republican-led Congress has turned the work of the president’s opioid commission into a ‘charade’ and a ‘sham,’ a member of the panel told CNN.”
Public health experts said Trump’s focus on an anti-opioid ad campaign would likely do nothing to combat the opioid crisis.
Axios: “Many public-health experts are skeptical these ads will make a big difference. The most important thing, they say, is more money for treatment programs. Congress and the White House have provided more than $6 billion so far, but the crisis is still far from over.”
Trump-backed health care policies would severely damage access to addiction treatment.
Washington Post: “A decision overturning the ACA would endanger the agency’s anti-opioids effort by leaving around 25 million Americans without health coverage and removing the law’s requirements for insurers to cover substance abuse services as part of 10 essential health benefits.”
Trump provided severely inadequate funding to tackle the opioid crisis.
TRUMP: “We got $6 billion for opioid and getting rid of that scourge that’s taking over our country.”
Vox: “It’s nowhere near the tens of billions that Kolodny and other experts argue is necessary to fully confront the crisis. For reference, a 2016 study estimated the total economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, misuse, and addiction at $78.5 billion in 2013, about a third of which was due to higher health care and drug treatment costs.”