Senate health care bill contains $2 billion to address opioid crisis, a fraction of what some had hoped

According to the Tennessean the U.S. Senate’s health care bill contains $2 billion to help fight the opioid crisis gripping the nation, far less than some Republican senators had initially hoped.

The bill includes $2 billion for fiscal year 2018 to provide grants to states for treatment and recovery services for people with mental or substance abuse disorders.

That is just about 2 billion more than might be needed except for emergency conditions in the opinion of some…

This amount would fall short of the $45 billion some Republicans senators had sought over 10 years, according to reports in The Washington Post and The Hill.

But Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the bill increases resources to fight the opioid crisis and that some senators are likely to lobby for additional funding when the legislation goes to the Senate floor next week.

“It’s by far the largest amount Congress has ever appropriated in one year for opioids,” Alexander said in an interview.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which Alexander ushered through Congress last year, included $1 billion in grants to states. But that money was spread over two years.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, said the funding in the Senate version would build upon what Congress previously approved.

“As the Senate continues working on their bill, it is important to keep in mind that any funding for the opioid crisis works to build on the $1 billion we included to combat the epidemic in the bipartisan and bicameral 21st Century Cures Act which became law last year,” she said in a statement. “Moreover, as the ACA marketplace continues to fail across the country, any funding we put forward in our health care package is funding that wouldn’t exist under current law.”

The Tennessean then stated:

In Tennessee, the opioid crisis has hit hard.

A report released earlier this year detailed a surge of deaths between 2012 and 2015. In 2015, at least 1,451 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses. That’s 22 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 Tennesseans.

So the question that we might ask is how will the money be spent…. for counseling, for court required rehap, or to reimburse hospitals for emergency care, emergency care that is already guaranteed by cities and counties. Would any of this have helped the 1,451 Tennesseans? All that would be pure speculation.

We have an answer that would help:

1 John 2:16

16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

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