Carper Statement on Trump Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement on President Trump’s declaration of a national public health emergency to fight the opioid epidemic.

“Delaware has not been immune to the substance abuse and addiction epidemic that is devastating families and ravaging communities across the country. We’ve lost hundreds of our loved ones and neighbors to fatal overdoses, and many more are struggling with addiction and substance abuse. It’s about time that President Trump follows through on his promise to declare a public health emergency on this worsening crisis.

“Heroin and opioid addiction is a complex problem, but fatal overdoses are preventable. The best way we can follow through on President Trump’s promise to fight this epidemic on all fronts is to make sure that not only law enforcement, but also health care providers have the resources they need to save lives and help people recover from this deadly disease.

“Earlier today the House of Representatives approved the Senate’s budget resolution that cuts $1 trillion from Medicaid, which provides the lion’s share of payments for addiction and substance abuse treatment. Those deeps cuts put millions of Americans at risk of losing coverage for substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services.

“This is not a partisan issue. It’s deeply personal for millions of people. Americans are relying on us to put politics aside to fight this epidemic with everything we’ve got. I urge my colleagues to recognize the vitally important role Medicaid and federal and state governments play in this fight. We need to be working together to ensure our health care providers and law enforcement officials have the resources they need to stop this epidemic and save lives.”