Mick Mulvaney: Combating Opioid Epidemic Better Left to States

In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, photo, Dorothy McIntosh Shuemake, mother of Alison Shuemake who died of a suspected heroin overdose, cries as she clutches her daughter's toy stuffed rabbit during an interview at her home, in Middletown, Ohio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called heroin use …
John Minchillo/AP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says he believes states are better suited to address the opioid epidemic, on a local level, than applying a “federal, one-size-fits-all” approach to a drug addiction problem that has swept the nation.

During Tuesday’s White House press conference, Mulavney said, “I will speak to the philosophy which is, we really do believe that the states will do it better than we will.” He added, “You’ve seen this commitment that the administration has already had to opioid abuse. I think there may be funding in it, in this funding bill, that we approve of” to address the epidemic.

Some fear the American Health Care Act, which is meant to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), would allow insurers to cut coverage for addiction care. The revised version of the Republican-backed health care plan would have ended the federal requirement, set forth under Obamacare, that made it so that addiction services were provided and covered under Medicaid.

The Republicans believe it’s more logical to leave the budgetary component for funding these services to the states, which have different levels of addiction problems.

On Tuesday, Mulvaney said that while the Trump administration is committed to combating this drug epidemic, “We recognize the reality that the states are more nimble and more well-attuned to their local populations to deal with it … The federal, one-size-fits-all might not be the best solution … let’s let the states find the solution.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.”

Breitbart News previously reported that “President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint outlines a $175 million increase for combatting drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic while supporting an additional $500 million increase to give opioid addicts treatment options and stop more from succumbing to addiction.”

In March, Trump met with victims of opioid addiction and members of his committee who have been appointed to address the growing crisis at the White House. “Opioid abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States,” Trump said. “This is a total epidemic. And I think it’s almost untalked-about compared to the severity that we’re witnessing.”

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