Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Trump to Declare Public Health Emergency for Opioid Crisis

President Trump said in August 2017 that he believed the opioid crisis constitutes a national emergency but did not issue any formal declaration President Trump said in August 2017 that he believed the opioid crisis constitutes a national emergency but did not issue any formal declaration
Sammy Stanley | 28 October, 2017, 00:51

Opioids, primarily prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, are fueling the drug overdoses.

President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

While stakeholders said they welcome anything to alleviate a crisis that now kills more people than guns or vehicle crashes, some criticized Trump for not dedicating new money to the problem.

Trump pledged during his campaign to make fighting addiction a top priority at rallies in some of the hardest-hit states in the nation.

Trump's declaration won't free up much additional funding, but gives acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan leeway to loosen certain regulations that he otherwise would not be able to.

The move diverges from previous promises - even as recently as Wednesday night - to declare the epidemic a "national emergency".

"In Ohio, we lose at least 14 people every day to opioid overdoses", said a statement from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican candidate for governor next year.

President Donald Trump had said in August that he planned to declare the epidemic a national emergency, according to ABC News.

The order also falls far short of the recommendations made by Trump's opioid commission.

"A nationwide public health emergency will really reorient all of the federal government and executive branch's resources towards focusing on providing relief for this urgent need", an official said.

"While clearly overturning it may not be in the scope of what the executive branch can do, laying out a clear vision for how waivers could be used to improve the system on a state-by-state basis would be a significant and welcome improvement", Matt Salo, the executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, wrote in an email to STAT after Trump's address. Two other Granite State leaders, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Democratic Sen.

"I hope Congress will follow the President's "call to action" and respond in kind by working through the barriers that prevent the fast and efficient flow of funds to communities that need the most help. This was an idea that I had, where if we can teach young people not to take drugs - just not to take them", Trump said.

Trump said that his administration would announce a new policy that would "overcome" the rule, suggesting officials would focus on granting waivers that allow states to expand treatment options.

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