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Comment & Response
January 2019

The Trump Administration’s Actions to Address the Opioids Public Health Crisis–Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor
JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(1):101-102. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2761

In Reply We appreciate McCance-Katz and Giroir’s efforts to comment on our article1 and their enumerating several recent steps the Trump administration has taken to respond to the opioid crisis—a matter of serious concern to the US people. We applaud some of the positive responses by the US Health and Human Services that McCance-Katz and Giroir identify—in particular enhanced national support for drug use and overdose surveillance efforts, along with treatment efforts targeted toward parents and rural communities. We also are heartened that Congress is responding actively to this crisis, as evidenced by recent appropriations and the more than 50 bills under consideration in summer 2018. However, it is far from clear that the recent financial investments into the opioid crisis are, as claimed by McCance-Katz and Giroir, unprecedented. The administration has relabeled considerable amounts of opioid spending. For example, included in the $3 billion in state and local grants noted by McCance-Katz and Giroir is $497 million that was part of the 21st Century Cures legislation enacted in 2016 prior to the current administration taking office.2