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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Republicans cut mental health programs then advocate against prescription drugs

It makes no sense for Republicans to advocate against prescription drugs to treat chronic pain conditions, just because they want to wage a war against addiction. Instead, Republicans should take a big picture approach and advocate for strong mental health care. to combat the root causes for addictionn and support substance abuse treatment.
Mental illness treatment continues to experience cuts to reimbursement, while addiction to prescription medications are being blamed on prescribers and patients, who need medication to treat chronic pain.  Republicans should take a big picture approach to mental illness and addiction disorders and stop blaming others for their failed social welfare policies.

The Hill reports:
Obama dares GOP for mental health reforms
President Obama is pressuring congressional Republicans to make good on their promise to fix the nation’s broken mental health system, which the GOP has frequently blamed for gun violence.

As part of his wide-reaching efforts to rein in gun violence, Obama on Tuesday called for a half-billion dollars in new mental health spending, taunting the GOP on their failure to pass a mental health reform bill since pledging to do so in 2013.

“For those in Congress who so often rush to blame mental illness for mass shootings as a way of avoiding action on guns, here’s your chance to support these efforts. Put your money where your mouth is,” Obama said during an emotional speech at the White House.

Unlike his other proposals, which will be made through executive actions, the $500 million allocation must come from Congress — something that Obama said Republicans should be feel obligated to support.

In a briefing after the speech, White House spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated that he doesn’t expect the GOP to support the funding request because the party is unwilling to support the president’s health efforts generally.

“It’s hard to take seriously [Republican] claims that they’re actually interested in ensuring that people have access to mental healthcare,” Earnest said.

“If they are actually willing to work seriously with the administration to invest $500 million in expanding access to mental healthcare, I’m happy to be proved wrong,” he said.

The remarks intend to push congressional Republicans who have pledged to strengthen the mental health system as an alternative to new restrictions on guns, but have been unable to coalesce around a plan.

GOP leaders first pledged to bolster the mental health system in 2013, shortly after the shooting in Newtown, Conn. Since then, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) has struggled to gain widespread support for his mental health bill, though it has gained momentum in recent months.

Murphy’s office delivered a sharp rebuke of Obama's funding proposal in a statement Tuesday.

"The federal government spends billions of dollars on mental health programs that are uncoordinated, lack oversight, and simply don’t work," Murphy's statement reads.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who leads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also released a statement, disputing the Obama administration's claims that Republicans have ignored the issue.

“Mental health reform has been and continues to be a priority for 2016," Upton wrote in a statement. "We’ve been on the case to reform our mental health system, and we welcome the president to the discussion."

Oh America's embarrassing homeless problem persists and gun violence reoccurs with frightening regularity, it is evident that little is being accomplished to improve the plight of the mentally ill.  

Nevertheless, Republicans are now hypocritically waging a war on opioid addiction by blaming prescription drugs on the growing problem of dependency and substance abuse.  

Rather than blame people, like the prescribers and the patients, the Republicans should, instead, apply more energy, money  and public resources on fixing the nation's broken mental health system.  This fix would obviously include addiction disorders.

Patients and prescribers are not the root cause of mental illness.  Likewise, they  are not the cause of the addiction problems.

Rather, Republican irresponsible social welfare policies have failed the American people and, as a result, the mentally ill are suffering.

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