By the time President Donald Trump left office, there was plenty of time for the country to learn about the president’s controversial handling of the opioid crisis and the role he played in the spread of the virus.
In January, his administration announced it would phase out the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan for seniors, who were struggling with chronic pain, but that did not stop the epidemic from escalating.
It was not until March that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the pandemic a public health emergency and directed federal health officials to take immediate action to address the issue.
In February, the Trump team put out a list of suggestions for addressing the pandemics and said that the government would spend $1.6 billion to combat the epidemic, with an additional $400 million for states and localities to fund new programs to address chronic pain.
It was the second such list released by the administration in less than a month.
After the first list, Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, but he later changed his mind, saying that he wanted to see the government pay for the cost of treating the epidemic.
Trump also said that “everybody” should get their “fair share” of funding for the epidemic and that he was willing to use some of the money for opioid treatment, which the administration said could cost between $8 billion and $15 billion per year.
The list of proposed solutions was a departure from the previous administration’s proposals, which focused on health care spending, including funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.
But the Trump proposal also raised eyebrows because it did not call for a complete cessation of the use of opioids.
The administration said that its proposals would help prevent the spread and abuse of opioids, and that the goal was not to completely eliminate opioids.
The Trump administration’s proposed opioid strategy also did not address whether the government should treat opioid users for their disease, which many patients have sought help for in the form of methadone.
Instead, the administration proposed that they be treated with “non-pharmacological” treatments, such as exercise, diet and social support.
And in a statement issued Wednesday, the White House said that if the epidemic continued to worsen, the government must prioritize efforts to treat opioid use disorders.
“This includes the urgent need to reduce access to opioid medication, and to increase access to effective non-pharmaceutical treatment for opioid addiction,” the statement read.
The White House’s proposal was a first step in what will likely be a lengthy review of the government’s response to the crisis.
On Wednesday, House Democrats announced that they had filed a petition to send Trump a bill, which they said would provide funding for “nonpharmacologic treatment” for opioid users.
The measure would also be directed at the Centers For Disease Control, the FDA, Medicaid, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal agencies.
The House bill also called for the Centers, as well as the FDA and the National Institutes of Health, to report to Congress on the effectiveness of their strategies to combat opioid abuse.
The administration also has put forward a proposal to fund $1 billion a year to help states and cities to address opioid addiction.
The plan is to be submitted to Congress as part of a package of $4.2 billion in spending bills that Congress is expected to consider this year.
The president has made the opioid epidemic a top priority.
During the 2016 campaign, he promised to take action to reduce opioid use among veterans and law enforcement officers and to create a federal fund to help those struggling with the crisis, a pledge he has repeated since taking office.
He also announced the opioid plan, a strategy he outlined in January.
The proposal calls for the government to spend $2 billion over the next 10 years to help state and local governments in their efforts to combat drug abuse and addiction.
While the president has called for a reduction in opioid use, the new proposal would also fund an additional 500,000 opioid treatment beds and $100 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The Trump administration said it would not pay for any new treatment for veterans, but the plan calls for additional funding for opioid treatments.
Critics of the administration’s strategy say that the proposal will not achieve its goal of ending opioid abuse among veterans.
“I’m not sure what the administration is going to do,” said Michael Raskin, a Johns Hopkins University professor and co-author of a study on the pandemia.
“This is not going to achieve their goal.”