Congressman Jim McGovern Applauds $1.1 Billion in President Obama’s Budget to Address the Opioid Epidemic
McGovern Welcomes Proposal to Ensure All Who Seek Treatment Can Get Help They Need
Congressman Jim McGovern applauded this week’s announcement that President Obama’s FY 2017 Budget includes $1.1 billion in funding to address the opioid epidemic that is impacting so many families in Massachusetts and across the country.
“Today’s announcement that President Obama’s budget will dedicate more than $1 billion to address the opioid epidemic is a critical step in this fight,” Congressman McGovern said. “In the past year, I have worked tirelessly to make sure the voices of Massachusetts families are heard in Washington, co-sponsoring three different bills and joining my House Colleagues to call on Administration officials to ensure all of our communities are receiving the federal funds needed to address this crisis.
“With the proposed funding announced today by President Obama, it is clear that our voices are being heard and Massachusetts can count on the White House to be a strong national partner in this fight,” McGovern added. “We must do all we can to ensure that treatment is available to those who seek it and by prioritizing treatment and prevention, this proposal takes the smart and comprehensive approach we need to help all of the families and communities touched by the opioid epidemic. This is a national priority and I look forward to working with both parties in Congress to securing the funding and resources we need to win this fight in Massachusetts.”
President Obama’s proposal includes $1 billion in new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use.
This funding will boost efforts to help individuals with an opioid use disorder seek treatment, successfully complete treatment, and sustain recovery.
This funding includes:
· $920 million to support cooperative agreements with States to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. States will receive funds based on the severity of the epidemic and on the strength of their strategy to respond to it. States can use these funds to expand treatment capacity and make services more affordable.
· $50 million in National Health Service Corps funding to expand access to substance use treatment providers. This funding will help support approximately 700 providers able to provide substance use disorder treatment services, including medication-assisted treatment, in areas across the country most in need of behavioral health providers.
· $30 million to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs employing medication-assisted treatment under real-world conditions and help identify opportunities to improve treatment for patients with opioid use disorders.
This investment, combined with other efforts underway to reduce barriers to treatment for substance use disorders, will help ensure that every American who wants treatment can access it and get the help they need.
Second, the President’s Budget includes approximately $500 million — an increase of more than $90 million — to continue and build on current efforts across the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand state-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities. A portion of this funding is directed specifically to rural areas, where rates of overdose and opioid use are particularly high.
To help further expand access to treatment, the Budget includes an HHS pilot project for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment, where allowed by state law.
American Lung Association’s ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ Gives Massachusetts Mixed Grades for Efforts to Save Lives by Reducing Tobacco Use
The American Lung Association released this week its 14th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report that finds that in 2015 Massachusetts made progress on tobacco control policies that will save lives.
The report also finds that most states and the federal government earned poor grades, and the high level of youth use of tobacco products other than cigarettes threatens to undermine the United States’ overall progress in the fight against tobacco-caused death and disease.
“While we celebrate successful tobacco control policies in Massachusetts like its efforts to regulate e-cigarette use by restricting sales to those 18 years and older, we still must face the reality that young people are using tobacco products like e-cigarettes and little cigars at an all-time high,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Nearly a quarter of high school students nationwide are using tobacco products, and it is essential that Massachusetts continue to take aggressive action to reduce all tobacco use – the #1 cause of preventable death and disease in our nation.”
The “State of Tobacco Control” report documents the progress and failure of the states and the federal government to address tobacco use. The report assigns grades based on whether federal and state laws protect Americans from the enormous toll tobacco use takes on lives and the economy.
“State of Tobacco Control 2016” finds Massachusetts mixed grades show that progress is possible, although even more needs to be done by our Governor and State Legislature to pass proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and save lives:
Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Funding Grade – F
Tobacco Taxes – Grade A
Smokefree Air – Grade A
Access to Cessation Services – Grade D
The American Lung Association of the Northeast calls on Massachusetts to act on increasing funding for the state’s tobacco control program to $9 million per year, include e-cigarettes and all other tobacco derived products as part of the state’s definition of tobacco and increase access to tobacco cessation treatments and services.
As of January 31, 2016, the Obama Administration had not yet given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight authority over all tobacco products including cigars, e-cigarettes, little cigars and hookah (commonly referred to as the deeming rule). The grade of “I” for Incomplete for FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products is assigned because the final rule is expected at any time. Other federal grades include a “C” for Federal Cessation Coverage, an “F” for Tobacco Taxes and a “B” for its Mass Media Campaigns, a new grading area in this year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report.
“It’s not a secret how we can reduce tobacco use in this country. ‘State of Tobacco Control 2016’ looks at proven methods to save lives and prevent our children from becoming the next generation hooked on tobacco,” said Casey Harvell, Director of Public Policy for Massachusetts. “We must demand that our elected officials in Massachusetts urgently act to implement these proven policies to save lives.”