Cummings Partners with Warren on Opioid Bill
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD)and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)are planning to introduce today the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act (CARE Act) that would require $10 billion a year in federal funding to combat the opioid crisis. The legislation is modeled off 1990’s Ryan White Act, which provided billions in federal money to combat the AIDS crisis -- to address the drug overdoses which are claiming lives in record numbers. The program would send federal help directly to local and state governments to provide treatment services. The pair is also planning to tour the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis to drum up support for the bill. “This is a problem that is crying out for a solution,” Cummings said. “It is literally life or death.” In 2016, over 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses -- more than the highest death tolls of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. About two-thirds of the drug deaths were attributable to opioids, according to the federal government. Yet, according to the Surgeon General, only about 10% of people in need of specialty treatment receive it. “I’m proud to partner with Elijah on a bill that’ll give communities the tools to fight back against this epidemic,” Warren said in a statement. “Congress has come together before to save lives — it's time for us to do so again.” More here.