NH Dems say money must be provided for opioid declaration

NH Dems say money must be provided for opioid declaration
© Getty Images

New Hampshire Sens. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHillicon Valley: Twitter to start verifying 2020 primary candidates | FTC reportedly weighs injunction over Facebook apps | Bill would give DHS cyber unit subpoena powers | FCC moves to designate 988 as suicide-prevention hotline Senate bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena powers Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA MORE (D) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA Senate panel advances Turkey sanctions bill despite Trump objections MORE (D) are calling on President Trump to pledge financial resources to combat the widespread opioid crisis, as he moves to declare the epidemic a public health emergency.

"I'm pleased he's designated this as a public health emergency, but I really want to see the resources that need to come in order for our communities and families in New Hampshire to be able to fight this horrible disease," Shaheen said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," in a joint interview with Hassan on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hassan echoed Shaheen's remark, saying the public health declaration is the first step to addressing the issue, but the second step will be spending "real dollars" on treatment for those suffering from addiction.

"While the president declares it a health emergency, it's a first step. We're not going to get the kind of response we know we need and we will continue to push for real dollars to accompany this declaration so we can get people the treatment they so desperately need," Hassan said.

On Thursday, Trump is expected to instruct the acting director of the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

The announcement, which was recommended by the president's opioid commission, won't provide any additional federal funding because it avoids deeming the epidemic a national emergency under the Stafford Act.

A public health emergency must be renewed every 90 days until it is deemed no longer needed.

But some say declaring a health emergency will do little without providing direct funding.

Hassan and Shaheen come from a state that has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. New Hampshire has the second highest overdose death rate in the United States.