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Governors Ask Trump and Congress to Do More for Fight Against Opioids

From TIME - January 18, 2018

(CHERRY HILL, N.J.)Less than three months after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis a public health emergency, the nations governors are calling on his administration and Congress to provide more money and coordination for the fight against the drugs, which are killing more than 90 Americans a day.

The list of more than two dozen recommendations made Thursday by the National Governors Association is the first coordinated, bipartisan response from the nations governors since Trumps October declaration.

The governors praised him for taking a first step, which included a pledge to support states efforts to pay for drug treatment through Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for low-income people. But the governors also called for more action.

While progress has been made, the consequences of opioid addiction continue reverberating throughout society, the governors said in their recommendations, devastating families and overwhelming health care providers, law enforcement and social services

They said the crisis was beginning to erode the nations workforce and undermine companies ability to hire.

Trumps emergency declaration came in response to recommendations from a commission he appointed to address the toll of opioids, a class of drugs that ranges from prescription painkillers to illegal drugs such as heroin and illicit fentanyl. It was chaired by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who left office this week.

The governors recommendations come after a federal judge in Cleveland pushed for a settlement in a series of lawsuits filed by state and local governments against the pharmaceutical industry.

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