Sen. Elizabeth Warren will unveil a ten-year, $100 billion plan aimed at curbing the abuse of extremely addictive opioid drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl.
The Massachusetts Democrat, who is seeking the party’s presidential nomination, will introduce a revamped and updated Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act, or CARE Act for short, on Wednesday, sources close to the campaign told TIME.
The largest portion of the funds, $4 billion per year, would be divided between states, territories and tribal governments, with the areas seeing the highest concentration of overdoses receiving larger chunks of funding.
Written in collaboration with Maryland Democrat and House Oversight Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings, the CARE Act would also allocate $2.7 billion per year to the hardest-hit cities and counties and an additional $1.7 billion per year for public health surveillance, research, and improved training for health care providers. In addition, $1.1 billion would be provided to public and nonprofit groups working to fight addiction on the frontlines in communities.
“Families across this nation — in red states, blue states, and purple states, in big cities, suburbs, and rural areas — are struggling with the devastating consequences of this generational crisis that claims 192 lives every single day,” Cummings told TIME in a statement.
Their plan also aims to spend $500 million per year to make naloxone, a nonaddictive drug often used to reverse the effects of opioids, more accessible to first responders, public health departments and the public.
It’s being presented ahead of weekend campaign events in Ohio and West Virginia — two states that have been hit the hardest by opioid abuse and addiction. Ohio alone saw more than 4,000 opioid-related deaths in 2017. Respectively, West Virginia saw more than 800 related deaths, at a rate of nearly 50 deaths per 100,000 people.
Read More: See Inside the Opioid Crisis
According to people familiar with the proposal, new additions to the bill will include a greater emphasis on some of the root causes of addiction, like mental health disorders, as well as a new grant program that aims to help workers maintain and gain employment while seeking substance abuse treatment. The updated proposal would also seek to streamline the grant proposal process and incentivize states to expand access to evidence-based treatment.
The CARE Act would be funded by Warren’s previously proposed ultra millionaire tax on the richest 75,000 families in America. Her team estimates that the tax would raise $2.75 trillion over the next decade, which familiar sources say is enough to cover this plan as well as her student loan debt and universal childcare plans.
Since Warren announced she was running for President in February, she’s put out a slew of policy plans, including one that would grant extremely low-income families free childcare, one that would erase the student loan debt shouldered by millions of Americans and one that would reward hospitals that make childbirth safer for African-American women.
It makes sense she’d use her proposed ultra millionaire tax to fund several of her policy ideas. In March, she told TIME that “the rules of our economy are so rigged in favor of the rich and powerful that we can’t afford to just tinker around the edges.”
Despite the opioid crisis contributing to an atypical drop in life expectancy and hundreds of thousands of deaths since 1999, the 2018 version of this bill didn’t get very far in Congress. It got only 81 cosponsors in the House and zero in the Senate.
But not spending money on the problem could also prove to be costly. President Donald Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the opioid crisis cost the U.S. economy more than $500 billion in 2015 alone.
- Essay: The Tyre Nichols Videos Demand Solemnity, Not Sensationalism
- For People With Disabilities, Losing Abortion Access Can Be a Matter of Life or Death
- Inside the Stealth Efforts to Smuggle Starlink Internet Into Iran
- Natasha Lyonne on Poker Face and Creating Characters Who Subvert Leading-Lady Tropes
- How to Help the Victims and Community After the Monterey Park Shooting
- Why Grocery Staples Are So Expensive Right Now
- Quantum Computers Could Solve Countless Problems—and Create a Lot of New Ones
- Where to Watch All of the 2023 Oscar Nominees
- How to Be Mindful if You Hate Meditating