Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has big plans in place for the opioid epidemic. According to her plans, Warren intends on spending $100 billion over a period of 10 years to helps states and territories that are struggling to fight the deadly opioid epidemic.
On Wednesday, Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, revealed her plan to combat the crisis. Her plan, which is called the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act (CARE), is an upgraded version of the measure that she and the chief sponsor of the bill, Rep. Elijah Cummings, had attempted to introduce to the House of Representatives last year.
While introducing the bill, Warren referred to the proposal as “a comprehensive plan to end the opioid crisis by providing the resources needed to begin treating this epidemic like the public health crisis that it is.” In order to explain that the opioid epidemic is only getting worse, Warren put the spotlight on the 70,000 people who died in the United States from drug overdoses in 2017.
“The majority of those deaths were due to opioids. Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses have skyrocketed. Children have lost their parents. And only a small percentage of those suffering ever receive the treatment they need,” explained Warren in a Medium post.
Warren made the promise that “if the CARE Act becomes law, every single person would get the care they need. Scores of legislators in Congress have signed on to support this plan. The nation’s top experts on the crisis stand behind it. It spells out in detailed terms exactly how funding would get to the communities that need it most.”
Warren, who is a huge fan of progressive causes, is also pointing fingers at the pharmaceutical companies who are to blame for overprescribing dangerously addictive drugs that fueled the deadly epidemic. “The opioid epidemic teaches us that too often in America today, if you have money and power, you can take advantage of everyone else without consequence,” said Warren.
She continued by saying that “under my Corporate Executive Accountability Act, executives of major companies that deliberately hurt people through criminal negligence – for example, by dumping mountains of highly addictive pills into towns….to make a quick buck – don’t just pay a fine, they face real criminal penalties.”
One of the towns hit the worst by the epidemic, Kermit, West Virginia, will be visited by Warren this weekend. She will also speak about the CARE Act in Ohio, which is another state that has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.
Warren is just the latest Democratic presidential candidate who has come forward with a plan to fight the drug epidemic. Just last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota announced her own $100 billion plan. Klobuchar’s proposal was written to improve access to care and to fund more research.
One of Donald Trump’s major campaign promises in 2016 was to put an end to opioid misuse and addiction. Even though President Trump declared a public health emergency in 2017, there are mixed feelings about how effective his efforts actually are at lowering the number of drug overdoses and getting to the root of the causes of the epidemic.