In 2018, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings introduced the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act. The bill authorizes $100 billion over the course of 10 years to combat the Opioid crisis.
The bill takes notes from the Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act that went into effect in 1990. It distributed federal funding directly to cities, states, and counties that were hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Today, more than 500,000 people receive services that have been supported by this act. It has also led to advancements that allow HIV positive people to live longer, healthier lives.
If the CARE Act is passed, it would distribute $10 billion a year across states, territories, counties, cities, and public health and research programs. According to the document, the break down looks like:
- $4 billion per year to states and territories that have been the most impacted by the epidemic
- $2.7 billion per year to counties and cities that have been the most impacted by the epidemic
- $1.8 billion per year in public health surveillance, biomedical research, and improved training for health professionals
- $1 billion per year to support innovative treatment, recovery, and harm reduction services by supporting public and nonprofit services
- $500 million per year to expand access to naloxone
Warren, who is now running for President in 2020 race, has openly criticized the current administration as well as lawmakers for not doing enough to combat the growing epidemic. While smaller amounts of money have been approved by legislation in the past to fight the Opioid Epidemic, Warren and Cummings’ bill has seen little traction. The two plan to revise the act and bring it to Congress in a couple of months.