To the editor:
I was pleased to see in the news recently that Oregon District 2 Rep. Greg Walden has taken an interest in the opioid crisis in Oregon.
He made statements about the severity of the problem and the great need for treatment, and he postured verbally against the DEA for failing to meet his demands for additional data on the subject.
For messaging purposes, so far, so good. But for actually meeting the needs of people affected by opioid addiction, not so good. How does Mr. Walden reconcile his claims of deep concern and of commitment to treatment with his catastrophic failed health care proposal (AHCA), which would have stripped millions of their access to health care? Or his embrace of the new tax bill that will indeed decimate medical care by yet a different route? Or his endorsement of Trump’s budget, which severely slashes funding for mental health programs? Or his approval of Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency, but not important enough to merit funding?
I encourage Mr. Walden’s interest in the opioid crisis, and hope he will develop policies that support broad access to comprehensive treatment, to go along with his messaging.