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Thursday, November 23, 2017
HomePoliticsOpioid addiction: Murkowski, Warren scold Trump on inaction

Opioid addiction: Murkowski, Warren scold Trump on inaction

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have written a scolding and public letter to President Trump for not having declared a national emergency pertaining to opioids in a timely way. After they wrote the letter, they each produced press releases announcing their actions.

The letter says, in part:

“We applaud your stated commitment to addressing opioid addiction and agree with you that the crisis is a “serious problem” deserving of increased federal resources. However, we are extremely concerned that 63 days after your statement, you have yet to take the necessary steps to declare a national emergency on opioids, nor have you made any proposals to significantly increase funding to combat the epidemic.”

Hawkins

It’s not clear what such an emergency declaration would do. It’s never been done before for a self-induced drug epidemic. National emergencies have always pertained to war, weather, and contagion.

A declaration might add money for the distribution of the overdose tonic naloxone. But users just go back to using and naloxone is not addiction treatment.

It might mean health professionals start tussling for disaster relief funds that ought to be going to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and helping the 3,000 California families who just lost their homes to wildfires.

Does Murkowski’s open hostility to the president advance Alaska’s interests?

Or has Murkowski squandered yet more of the good will she will need to get Trump’s wholehearted support for things like opening ANWR?

An ironic twist is that both Murkowski and Warren support Medicaid expansion, which has been linked to the increased use in opioids by Medicaid recipients, and has possibly contributed to the epidemic.

[Read: Opioid Addiction: Has Medicaid made it worse?]

Medicaid provides money for some treatment for addicts, but also provides unlimited government funds that actually increase a person’s access to opioids.

This is especially true for Medicaid expansion states like Alaska, where able-bodied adults without children are the ones receiving greater access to opioids through a Medicaid expansion system that has no effective boundaries on these addictive drugs.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Warren, Murkowski and near every other Senator and Rep passed legislation that fueled the opiod crisis early last year. Out of everyone in the Government Trump is the least responsible for the crisis and these two madams are passing the buck for Trump not being able to deal with the awful legislation they passed. If they had a shred of integrity they would admit their faults first.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-governments-shameful-role-in-the-opioid-crisis/2017/10/16/44f0d210-b297-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb_story.html?utm_term=.19960961fa95

  • “nor have you made any proposals to significantly increase funding to combat the epidemic.”

    Sigh….that is the Left’s answer to literally everything….just keep throwing vast sums of OPM at it.
    It’s never about personal responsibility, but just keep throwing money at each and every problem.

  • I’m sad that my Senator has aligned herself with Warren and Collins and what happened to your kuspuk???

  • Cry me a river. Lisa and her new BFF Fauxohontas Warren are blasting away at Trump for failing to do something he promised. Yet she failed to do what she promised her friends here in AK during multiple campaigns, vote to repeal O’BamaCare. Repeal O’BamaCare, Lisa and then we’ll talk about opiods. Cheers –

  • Calling out Senator Murkowski on the very possible link between the Medicaid expansion and increased opioid abuse is spot on. If the Senator was serious about reducing opioid abuse, she would recognize that you cannot throw the doors to a medical entitlement program wide open, relieve individuals of personal responsibility and hope for the best. If the Senator continues to favor expanding Medicaid and enabling individuals to maintain unproductive lifestyles, opioid abuse will only increase.

  • Your known by the company you keep lisa!!!

  • How dare those Medicaid recipients who have hip replacement or broken spines or have cancer using opioids to relieve extreme pain…like people with insurance do. It is all their faults. They would have been better off not getting treatment at all. How stupid are you? Then let’s blame health insurance in general for the opioid crisis because they pay for pain medication for non Medicaid patients, too. Whether you get hooked on pain meds has nothing to do with who pays for them.

    • Facts do not have feelings. Yes there are recipients of medical welfare benefits that are deserving of said benefits, but the reality is that the opioid crisis is linked to Medicaid expansion as well as the resurgence in the use of heroin when prescriptions are not or can not be filled. Addiction and income are related whether you like to believe it or not, especially when government programs improve access the your income would normally prevent access.

  • Madam Moocowski … Is there ANY issue that you could see your way clear to come down on the conservative side? Is there any flaming liberal in congress you have failed to ally your miserable self with? Uh huh .. That’s what. I thought.

  • Last time I checked, Sen. Murkowski was a Republican but she is really starting to lean left lately. Pairing up with Sen. Warren just creates a double dose of reason for term limits. She might be losing his respect, and many of us too. I don’t think it will matter – he will pursue, pander or manipulate to get things done but I think where she will pay will be with her constituency. She keeps saying she does what is best for Alaskans, but I just don’t agree with that reality.

  • Opiod addiction is not a national crisis. Stupidity is a national crisis. You can’t regulate stupidity. And you can’t regulate what crap people put in their bodies. Opiod addiction reminds me of the Aids epidemic. 20+ years ago the crisis was that everyone in the US would soon die of AIDS. So massive amounts of federal money was needed to be spent on, on … well on anything because AIDS is such a crisis! But the crisis of the day ran its course. When was the last time you saw a headline about AIDS? Yeah, like I figured … you can’t remember. AIDS, opiods … soon a new crisis will arrive that we will “have” to spend federal money on. And Murkowski will be leading the charge in screaming for the money.