As we head into an election year, one of the big topics will be health care. And for the presidential candidates below, that includes better access to drug and alcohol treatment. Here, they share what they'd do about our nation's addiction crisis if they were sitting in the Oval Office.
“Last April, I introduced the CARE act with my friend Representative Elijah Cummings from Baltimore. Under our plan, every single person who needs treatment would get it. We would send billions of dollar directly to the hardest hit communities to support first responders, public health departments, and those on the front lines of the opioid crisis. We'd put real money into research and training for health professionals. Public and non-profits would get more than a billion dollars each year to support their work with underserved populations and workers at high risk for addiction.
We would also invest in the continuum of care, from early intervention for those at risk for addiction, to harm reduction for those struggling with addiction, to long-term support for those in recovery. Data shows that people who have stable housing and employment are less likely to relapse, so our bill ensures access to critical wraparound services like housing support and medical transportation for those who need them.
CARE doesn't just provide resources to communities; it also works to strengthen our addiction treatment infrastructure—demanding states use Medicaid to the fullest to tackle the crisis, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, and ensuring treatment programs and recovery residences meet high standards."
"We need to understand that addiction is a disease, not a criminal activity. We cannot continue to treat the people struggling with the disease of addiction as criminals. We must focus on treatment and prevention. We must give people struggling with addiction the care they need by guaranteeing health care—including inpatient and outpatient substance abuse and mental health services with no copayments or deductibles—to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program. I also plan to enact paid family leave, so people can take time off from work to help themselves or a family member as they go through treatment."
“We need to tackle the lack of public health resources in communities, specifically communities of color and rural communities. As President of the United States, I will make sure that every American has access to drug treatment on demand.”
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