Advocate praises Warren's opioid proposal: 'The scale of the plan is absolutely right'

One advocate working in addition treatment is praising Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality It's time to shut down industrial animal farming The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen MORE’s (D-Mass.) plan to combat the opioid crisis in the United States.

“The scale of the plan is absolutely right,” Courtney Hunter, who is the director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at the nonprofit agency Center of Addiction, told Hill.TV on Thursday, referring to the 2020 presidential’s latest cash-heavy proposal to address the growing epidemic.

“I don’t know if it is a perfect bill or if there is a perfect bill but we do need to put that kind of money against it in order to see change,” she added.

Hunter noted that the plan is based on the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act that fought the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s.

“They modeled that bill after the Ryan White aids bill, which approached the problem in the necessary way and the necessary scope,” she said. “We need a response like that.”

Earlier this month, Warren rolled out a revised version of legislation that would provide $100 billion over the next decade to fight the opioid crisis. Warren and Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDemocrat Kweisi Mfume wins House primary in Maryland Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries The Postal Service collapse that isn't happening MORE (D-Md.) first introduced the bill, dubbed the CARE Act, in 2018.

The plan includes $4 billion in funding for states, territories and tribal governments to address the issue, as well as, $2.7 billion to be distributed to the hardest-hit counties and cities. Another $1.1 billion would be earmarked for public health departments and nonprofits.

In a Medium post announcing her plan, Warren called for a structural change that would hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for making the crisis worse.

“Real, structural change to address this crisis is going to take new leadership in Washington,” she wrote. “Leadership that will hold business executives that cheat and defraud and addict people responsible for their criminal acts.”

According to a 2018 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose.

While the issue has become a top concern for Republicans and Democrats alike, the best way forward remains the subject of much debate.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE signed a bipartisan bill last year that includes provisions to intercept the synthetic opioid fentanyl from entering the country through the U.S. mail system. The measure also expands access to treatment.

Democrats, meanwhile, argue that Republicans still aren’t putting enough money toward treatment and Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion have hurt anti-opioid efforts.

—Tess Bonn