Trump Gaining More Criticism Over Opioid Epidemic
As we all prepare to hear President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address this week, news outlets are buzzing about how the nation’s opioid epidemic will most likely be overlooked in his speech. The reason networks like CNBC are reporting this is because, in their words, the Commander-in-Chief has failed on his promises to combat the crisis.
“When Donald Trump took the oath of office a little over a year ago, he promised that ‘the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,’ staffer Chris Lu wrote on the CNBC site. “However, on one of the most pressing social issues facing these ‘forgotten’ people — the opioid epidemic — the president’s record has been one of talk instead of action.”
One big criticism of the President is that he has yet to offer any concrete solutions for stopping the growing amount of fatal overdoses. According to the article, just last week Trump was asked about if there were any solutions he had in mind to curb the epidemic. “I think I actually know the answer,” he responded. “But I’m not sure the country is ready for it yet.” Unfortunately, there was no follow up after that and no one was able to clarify his statement.
Vagueness aside, media sites have expressed anger over the fact that Trump may actually be contributing to the crisis. One of his administration’s recent proposals included slashing federal substance abuse programs, as well as Medicaid funding which supports recovery services. He has also vowed to take a harsher stance against drug offenders, which (with the crisis in full effect) may lead to more addiction-related incarcerations.
Additionally, the recent tax bill passed by the Trump administration will repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, raising health insurance premiums by 10 percent this year. And though the President did declare a national “health emergency” regarding the crisis last fall, critics have continued to poke holes in his words.
“The emergency opioid epidemic declaration has accomplished little because there’s no funding behind it,” former Representative Patrick Kennedy told the site. “You can’t expect to stem the tide of a public health crisis … without putting your money where your mouth is.”
It all makes for more divisions within Washington D.C. and anger within many recovery circles throughout the U.S. Will Trump’s State of the Union perhaps make amends with clear-cut answers about combating the crisis? One can only hope…