Klobuchar unveils $100B plan to battle substance abuse, improve mental health

Klobuchar unveils $100B plan to battle substance abuse, improve mental health
© Greg Nash

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Lobbying world MORE (D-Minn.), a 2020 White House hopeful, on Friday unveiled a $100 billion plan that would improve access to mental health care in America and increase resources nationwide for battling substance abuse.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the plan would increase funding for early intervention mental health organizations while also improving access to opioid addiction treatment centers. It also would provide for the hiring of health care workers to serve areas facing little or no hospital coverage.

A request for comment Friday to Klobuchar's campaign from The Hill was not immediately returned.


The AP reports that Klobuchar will campaign on the plan in the coming days, though the plan would require the passage of legislation through Congress and a massive legal settlement between opioid manufacturers and local governments.

The plan calls for a settlement agreement not yet proposed between a number of states and the opioid manufacturers they have targeted with lawsuits for their role in U.S. opioid abuse crisis, which reached record levels in 2017 and shows no sign of slowing.

Those companies, Klobuchar argues, are responsible for the crisis and should pay the lion's share of costs to battle the epidemic ravaging communities across the country.

Another provision in the plan would create a national suicide prevention program that would seek to battle high rates of suicide, particularly in the veteran and LGBTQ communities.

The Minnesota senator told a CNN town hall last month that her efforts to fight substance abuse were largely motivated by her experience with her father, who battled alcoholism for years.

“It has motivated me to say everyone should be pursued by grace — whether you get addicted to meth, whether it’s opioids, whether it’s alcohol, whether you have a mental health problem,” Klobuchar said. “It shouldn’t just be my dad.”