Chris Christie Has a Solid Opioid Plan
If Trump did one thing right, it was appointing former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to helm an opioid initiative. Of course, Trump only did it half right; giving Christie a chair on a special commission but no real power. In fact, Christie was given nothing but an advisory role. The actual power came under something called the new White House Office of American Innovation, which only bogged everything down into bureaucracy.
And bureaucracy was where things were kept. Then again, with its purpose to “make recommendations to the President” it’s hard to see how it could be otherwise. After all, the Office was itself an advisory device.
It didn’t help that the Office was overseen by so-called “Senior Advisor to the President”Jared Kushner, who had an affinity for batting around balls rather than scoring. In this case, he was right at home, making vague recommendations that echoed what Christie put forth yet offering nothing concrete. To be fair, Trump did accept all 56 of Christie’s recommendations, but only half would see the light of day.
Chris Christie Steps Up
Well, now, AP’s Holly Ramer has the story of how Christie took to a New Hampshire recovery center to outline a people-focused, not punitive, policy plan.
“This is a test to see who we want to be as both a people and as a country,” he said at the Hope on Haven Hill wellness center, which services pregnant women and mothers struggling with substance use disorder. “We need an approach that remembers and reflects on the very basic humanity of every single one of those 100,000 victims, as well as the treasures each one of them could have brought to this country.”
Christie didn’t name names, but he made it clear he wasn’t on board with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s vow to shoot drug dealers at the border, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s plan to cut off trade with China or Trump’s threat to take military action against Mexico.
on policies and plans that improve Government operations and services,”
improve the quality of life for Americans now and in the future, and spur job creation.” it’s hard to see how it could’ve done otherwise.
Border control “will be important to stem some of the flow of this stuff into our country,” said Christie, “but that’s not going to be what fixes this problem by itself. And people who say that’s what will do it just are not telling the truth.”
In plain talk: “We don’t solve this crisis unless we focus on substance use disorder and what gets us there and what helps to help get people out of it and into recovery,” he added.
Christie said he would increase access to medication-assisted treatment by making the telehealth policies created during the coronavirus pandemic permanent, requiring all federally qualified health centers to provide such treatment and creating mobile opioid treatment programs.
He also called for expanding block grants to states, tied to specific requirements for data collection and sharing. The pandemic, he argued, showed that vast amounts of data can be gathered and shared quickly, and the same should be done to track overdose deaths and identify the areas of greatest need.
“We’ve been told for decades it’s just too difficult to accurately track and understand,” he said. “If we keep saying that these things are too hard, what we’re saying is that working harder at this is too much and that the lives that we’re losing are not worth it. I’m sorry, I just don’t believe that.”
Here, here! It’s time to step up and do the work, however hard it might be.
Healing Properties Thanks Chris Christie
Healing Properties thanks Chris Christie for keeping drug treatment on his agenda, and for ensuring it remains a part of the conversation. We also applaud his vying for block grants so we can get the data set up and running. We can’t know who needs what and where without the proper data set; it’s crucial to get that assembled. Mostly though, we thank Mr, Christie for not neglecting the 100,000 lives that have been lost over the last year. How that fact isn’t on every candidates radar is obscene to us.