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ICYMI: Senators Shaheen, Hassan Lead Call for Budget Agreement to Include $25 Billion to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) yesterday announced a proposal to include $25 billion in additional funding to combat the opioid crisis in the budget agreement that is currently being negotiated.


The Senators are calling for this $25 billion investment over two years to go toward programs that support substance use disorder treatment through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Medicare and Medicaid.


See below for highlights of the coverage:


WMUR: NH Senators Propose $25 Billion to Fight National Opioid Crisis


Click here to watch WMUR’s report.


Washington Post: The Health 202


By Paige Winfield Cunningham


[…] Yesterday, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan -- a pair of New Hampshire Democrats who are leading the push -- said they're pressuring congressional leaders to include more funding for the crisis because the federal response has been insufficient.


“Make no mistake: This is a national public health emergency, and we still don’t see a robust federal response,” Shaheen said. “The current federal budget negotiations give us an opportunity to right this wrong.”

AP: Shaheen, Hassan propose $25B more for opioid crisis


New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have announced a Democratic proposal for an additional $25 billion in the federal budget to combat the opioid crisis.


The senators on Tuesday called for the investment over two years to go toward programs that support opioid treatment in such agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Medicare, and Medicaid.


The senators say a federal response is needed that matches the national public health emergency.


They say the proposal would help bridge the funding difference between the Republican-proposed defense and domestic budgets.


The Hill: Senate Dems seek $25B in opioid funding


By Nathan Weixel


[…] Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, a pair of New Hampshire Democrats who are leading the effort, said during a press conference Tuesday that the federal response to the crisis has been insufficient and negotiations over a long-term spending deal are an opportunity to change that.


[…] Advocates and Democrats say the opioid epidemic is being overlooked during the negotiations and that funding should be included as part of domestic spending.


“It’s important that as we budget for the defense of this nation, we don’t short shrift our domestic needs, particularly something of the magnitude of this opioid epidemic,” Shaheen said.


In late October, Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. The move didn’t come with significant additional funding nor did it include a funding request to Congress, though talks with lawmakers are continuing.


[…] The $25 billion pursued by Shaheen and Hassan would be provided over two years, they said.


“It’s going to take a far greater federal investment, but providing an additional $25 billion now is an important first step that we must take,” Hassan said.


Washington Examiner: New Hampshire Democrats ask for $25 billion to tackle opioid epidemic


By Kimberly Leonard


New Hampshire's Democratic senators want $25 billion to be spent over two years to stave off tens of thousands of overdoses from heroin and prescription painkillers.


The pair, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, say they would like to see the funding included in a spending deal being worked out between Congress and the White House. Shaheen told reporters that they are working to bring along support from other Democrats but had not talked to the White House about their proposal. She noted that negotiations on the bill had been occurring behind the scenes. The $25 billion is one of the first formal proposals to be released.


[…] The Trump administration has declared the opioid crisis a "public health emergency" but has not put funding behind it. A proposal would come at a later date, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in December, but Congress would need to appropriate the funds.


[…] Shaheen and Hassan hope that their proposal for funding opioid treatment and prevention will be accepted in the larger funding package.


"This is a national public health emergency, and we still don't see a robust federal response," Shaheen said at a press conference Tuesday.


The amount is much higher than the $1 billion allocated by Congress in 2016 under the 21st Century Cures Act.


[…] Hassan called the $25 billion a "down payment."


"It will take years for us to turn the tide and beat this epidemic," she said.