tv Washington Journal Spotlight on Opioid Epidemic CSPAN July 27, 2017 7:00am-10:00am EDT
addiction. we talked to senator rob portman, sheldon whitehouse, new hampshire governor chris sununu, congressman our rogers and senator ed markley. ♪ host: good morning, everyone pai. 20 hours of debate expected to onire and voting will begin amendments to repeal portions of the affordable care act. the action comes after a clean repeal offered by senator rand paul failed yesterday 45-55. today, several senators are likely to offer proposals to address the opioid situation in this country. a key factor for many republicans who support any repeal efforts. we will talk with several
senators today about the crisis in their states on the program. we want you to tell washington what you are seeing where you live. do you think your state leaders are doing enough? if you live in the mountain pacific part of the country, 202-748-8001. eastern central park, 202-748-800t, 202-748-8000. and those affected by the opioid situation, 202-748-8002. also, join us on twitter and facebook. good morning to you. start dialing in. what is the opioid situation like where you live? phone numbers are on your screen. let's begin with the hearing the housewith oversight committee on national drug policy in this country.
flattery talked about the origins of the epidemic. [video clip] >> this wasn't started by drug dealers who built a business model around providing illicit drugs. this had its origins in the medical community. your medical practitioners understand that. in an attempt to be compassionate in the treating of pain, american physicians used their prescription pad. they also have a deficiency of prior training on proper pain management and addiction management. there is in a discipline built yet around addiction in medical schools. attempt to provide compassionate care, american physicians are implicated in the for allof opioid drugs manner of pay and for which they were never intended. they started out as a drug to
address terminal cancer pain and recovery from acute injuries and it drifted into the use of opioid drugs for migraines come arthritis -- migraines come arthritis, tooth extraction. they were prescribed in quantities that were completely unnecessary for the treatment of acute conditions. of opioid drugs lead to addiction. why so ubiquitous? in 2013, we hit the peak year with over 259 million prescriptions. those drugs are flooding communities and workplaces and they are just widely available and they are available for potential misuse.
they were available at low cost on the streets. host: testimony yesterday by a coalition executive there trying to fight the opioid situation in this country, whose son had died from it. giving the figures of the prescription right in this country and the cost of the opioid epidemic, the total economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, abuse and dependence" $79 billion. $79 billion. should it be dealt with in health care legislation? more figures on your screen. the cost of low productivity, $20 billion. many of you might know that the first efforts in the senate
included legislation that would -- additional money for opioids. that measure failed. so now, there is this headline from vox.com. senate republicans could add funding to a skinny obamacare repeal bill. it has been labeled skinny. the situation is fluid and not even initial drafts have been released publicly, but a push is underway to add opioid funding to the bill. amendments will be offered today , there is an open debate on the senate floor. .n entire coverage on c-span2
patrick in florida. tell us your story. caller: let me just say, this is classic c-span. this opioid epidemic started under the bush junior administration when soldiers had to do two and three tours and knew they were fighting for nothing. they were brought back and didn't know how to deal with it, so the v.a. loaded them up with all these drugs. they couldn't get jobs, so they started selling the drugs. as governor was behind the pill mill capital in the state of florida, which is c-span has never brought up. , you neverc-span talk about how the other countries do with this. dealt with this.
i haven't heard about a pill epidemic in europe. my sister married a guy a long time ago -- he was a struggling heor, turned to drugs -- went around to these doctors and said quit prescribing this. they kept prescribing him and he od'd. they said you make any fuss about this, they will yank your nursing license. mention the government let the states run these hill mills. because they are white people, we've got all kinds of federal money -- just so you .now, classic c-span host: helen in north carolina.
caller: one thing i would like this --y think you need one thing i would like to say, i think you need to not let people talk so long. i don't know much about opioids, but my problem is the health care system. i'm a 70-year-old person on medicare. every year, when they negotiate doctorsse hospitals and , my prescriptions change every year. i want the senate to get off and doou know whats something for the american people. know thatdy out there they make $174,000 a year? verage worthans' a is $9 million and the democrats
are even more. on sunday and:00 listen to what he has to say about our health care system. you senators, get off your tail and do the work best otherwise, you need to be voted out of office. i'm sick and tired of these senators and congressmen, chuck schumer, nancy pelosi, and -- sheaxine waters lives in a $4 million get home. host: these are the states according to the cdc that are statistically significant where overdose raten increase -- on the east coast come up and down. there have been a large number of overdoses to two opioids. -- due to opioids.
charles in las vegas. you're on the air. caller: good morning. the situation regarding the drug companies -- they are making billions of dollars, shaking hands with our government. this is the basis of the whole problem. we need to find out exactly how to go about in getting these drug companies to bring down these prices. so that it would be fair for the poor people and those who really need the drugs and the health care situation would be taken care of on that basis. host: bloomberg has this story about how there were efforts underway to add money to anything the senators do for the opioid situation on health care repeal.
part of that is by bolstering medicaid. medicaid spending on opioid treatment has decreased sharply in tandem with the widening epidemic. payments for three drugs used to treat addiction and reverse overdoses jumped to $900 million last year from $394 million in 2011. it would be difficult to set a cap on what sort of treatment levels would be needed next year or the year after that. that is just for medication to help people with opioid addiction. what isn't tallied is the cost of counseling or other services. all told, medicaid spent $7.9 billion on treating substance 2014.in
some republicans would like to pull back the expansion of medicaid. if they do that, senators are worried that could impact this opioid crisis. from ohio has insisted on adding more money along with democrats to any repeal efforts. the initial proposal was $45 billion. according to democrats on the joint economic committee, $45 billion windfall to short. o short. fall to patricia in kansas. you are a nurse. good morning to you. caller: yes, i've been a nurse for 42 years. an rn. i have worked in various kinds of medicine, mostly pediatric intensive care.
i did six years in the emergency department. i happen to be working in emergency department when the drug lortab got put on the market. the cost of health care has been enormously since the 1970's because the attitude of the medical community had changed to a greed-based situation. so, i have to be quite honest with you -- nurses, we are like teachers. we make very little money and ever one else who takes care of patients in the hospital make little money and are hardly able to buy a house or send kids to college. there's a lot of money being
made in medicine. it is not being made by the caretakers. greed has changed medicine. when lortab was introduced to the er, we used to prescribe like tylenol with codeine was her general prescription, but you could tell someone was getting kickbacks from this medication being prescribed. sudden, no of a other medication was prescribed for pain, whether you were a injury toold with an a 95-year-old with a fall. andoveruse of this drug now, we have lots of situations -- host: do you think the federal
government should set guidelines for doctors about -- but laws on about how much doctors can prescribe? that what people call obamacare, which is actually the aca, when it was put through, it was the first time we had restrictions on physicians. they had to prove that they were prescribing things for certain reasons. they had to put things on paper and prove they were doing the correct thing. we have now in this wonderful health care bill that has been derided so much in the media because they don't understand it because no one talks about it, no one talks about the benefit of the affordable care act --
,hen it was first developed they heard from the doctors and nurses in the hospitals and put together this bill and it was desperatetogether together by -- basically put together by mitt romney and it was the model. democrats wanted to have a single-payer option. but it was not allowed to be put itand they compromised with not being put in this bill because they would not have gotten that last vote from senator lieberman. however, we knew this would happen. the insurance companies are in it for the money.
host: joni is in alaska. good morning to you. thank you for joining the conversation. what do you think about your , being, lisa murkowski one of two republicans who voted no on allowing debate to repeal the affordable care act? caller: i'm glad she did that. why? caller: the bill they were trying to put forward was not worth debating. host: i want to get your reaction to this from "the new york times" front page this morning. she said according to some of the people at the private white
didn't come-- i here to represent the republican party come i'm representing my constituents in the state of alaska. what is your reaction? caller: thank you. host: should she vote for anything put forward to change the portable care act? -- the affordable care act? caller: who was the senator -- he put forward a bill let the states do their own health care. it looks good on paper, but i don't know the details of it. that could work. host: what is the opioid situation like in the state of alaska?
it's about medicaid funding for lisa murkowski. yous very concerned about pull back that expansion of medicaid instead of alaska, that could impact a lot of poor people. -- in the state of alaska, that could impact a lot of poor people. caller: i don't know what the opioid situation is here in alaska. we have a lot of people who depend on medicaid. i think it would be devastating to the state if we lost it. host: in what way? do you know a lot of people who rely on medicaid? caller: i do. i live among them. . -- they are on social security, they don't get much of that income. they don't have any reserves. it is tough. host: joni in alaska.
or a lisa murkowski and her standing up to the president. according to the huffington post with the president is seeking revenge on alaska over the health care vote. this story on the website of the huffington post. murkowski leta down her party and the nation by voting against republicans' atte mpts to repeal obamacare. the alaska dispatch news reported wednesday night that the interior secretary called dan sullivan after tuesday's vote to let her know her position had put some of the state specific projects in jeopardy.
lily in orlando, florida. the morning. how are you? -- good morning. how are you? what are your thoughts on the a put situation in this country? -- opioid situation in this country? caller: it's about greed. the nurse that called and said it's about -- she thinks it's about kickbacks. it's about greed and it's on the backs of people who are becoming addicted and winding up in jail and in the morgue. it's a shame. host: richard in spokane, washington. what is your story? anything ton't have say about opioids -- i have a close friend who's been on methadone for 10 years. been built uphas
to 300 amounts -- he's always out trying to buy them. there's nothing i can do. i worry about him. caller: have you tried reaching out to your state officials to try to get some help there? caller: no. it seems like the doctors and the pharmacies and everybody are getting kickbacks. you can't tell the police or anything about it because they won't do anything because the doctor gives it to them. your hands are tied. becauseorry about him he's been on methadone for 10 years and he gets over 300 amounts -- 300 and month and he still runs out. host: these statistics match what you are saying. opioid involve death rates
increased in 30 states and d.c. while remaining stable in 19 states. this is according to the cdc, numbers from december. michelle in frederick, maryland. good morning to you, michelle. caller: good morning. reason -- i just had a baby. me, i normally don't take medication because i choose not to. they do load you up with a lot of pain meds. on the other hand, i also feel
like as an adult or individual, we have the responsibility of limiting ourselves. if we do come home with a certain amount of pain meds, we have a responsibility in taking it with moderation and taking it where it doesn't get to the point upcoming addictive. we need to take responsibility for our actions as welcome and not only blaming the pharmaceutical companies -- a , they these pain meds just sustain you for a certain amount of time and then two or three hours later, you feel like you need it. i feel like it's made that way for people to become addicted to it. host: what did they offer you for pain medication? caller: i really don't remember. i don't was oxycontin. i honestly don't remember what it was, the exact name.
i had a cesarean and you were given ibuprofen and another one. host: did you feel like what they were going to offer you was a lot? caller: i came home with about 24 tablets. i probably used -- in the hospital, i probably took it twice. when i got home, i took it about three times. that was pretty much it. i know these tablets make you addicted. to limit myself, bearing with my pain, as opposed to getting addicted to these tablets. they only last two or three hours and you feel like you need one again.
these tablets should be able to sustain you a bit longer. most people are not taking it every two or three hours. host: i want you to listen to what i'm going to play for you and others. at this hearing yesterday, house oversight panel had a discussion about national drug policy and opioid addiction came up. here's a stanford professor explaining, trying to put the problem of over prescription of opioids in perspective. [video clip] >> on a per capita basis, we are the world leader by an indoor miss marking, six times what european countries prescribed. we could cut prescribing by 40% and we would still be the world leader. that is the biggest wheel. -- we arere the world the world leader by an enormous margin. we are prescribing way too much host:.
. find many events, hearings, testimony we've covered here on c-span dealing with the opioid situation on www.c-span.org. more of your phone calls coming up on the opioid situation. do you think washington needs to take the lead? should money for the opioid situation be added to this health care repeal effort? first, some other news. some opinion pieces written in the papers this morning. william house, a former and therator at the epa acting fbi director and deputy attorney general under president , he writes in this piece the events of recent weeks have barely reminded -- eerily reminded him of those watergate days.
robert mueller will conduct a thoughtful and thorough investigation. if the president fires him, the result might be the same as what president nixon faced when he forced elliott richardson and me to resign for refusing to update attorney to fire general cox. there is his advice in the papers this morning. in "the new york times." in "the attorneyn post," general jeff sessions is in your goalie or your piñata. -- isn't your goalie or your piñata.
journal," y jeff sessions recused himself -- why jeff sessions recused himself. mr. trump will only compound the problem now if you fires mr. sessions and appoints a replacement who fired mr. mueller. those are the editorial pages and opinion pages in the newspapers this morning on the president's criticism of his attorney general. let's go back to our conversation on opioid crisis and the health care debate. good morning. theer: them percs, percocets -- the percocets along with a heroin is devastating. you have whole families out here sniffing percs.
heroin is a drug that gives you a rush. heroin is a money drug. you can make 15 times profit on heroin. that is why heroin is a popular, because it is a money thing. it is running the underground economy. there's money in heroin. t like coke and crack. crack is a cheap drug. hair when, you can get paid in heroin. that's why opioids are popular because there's money in that. host: patrick in south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a free market capitalist, i don't believe the government -- there's no right to health care.
if there's anything the government can do, we should provide a base line health care and do that through a national sales tax. what do you think about that? everyone contributes. the people on medicaid don't pay nothing when they get health care services. my wife went in for some medical care and i had to shell out 20% of the delectable. that's $8,000. 20% of the deductible. host: when you had to pay that $8,000, what did it mean for that month, for the other bills you had to pay? what kind of economic hit was that? caller: i've set money aside every month because i'm fiscally responsible and i budget. hasave a country today that
no self-control. self-control for these people on abuseioids -- if they opioids, tough paid i'm the . i'm the school of hard knocks. if you find yourself in the gutter, you did it to yourself. you can't blame nobody but yourself. you cannot blame the government or your mother or schoolteacher. you blame yourself and you make yourself better. host: if the government doesn't -- the economic hit this country takes is in the billions. $79 billion, that is the economic burden of opioid addiction. our economy suffers if there's not help. help -- we can't turn to
the government. you have to turn to yourself, your neighbor, your church, your local community. host: you think it should be not the government but private -- the community could help these people. caller: correct. , theirs ago, my parents hospital bill for bringing me into this world was paid with cash. $100. we have had to escalation of health care costs because of greed and the hospitals and insurance companies are working the system. the first thing the government did was start medicare back in 1965. host: if the cost of health care
-- 20% of our gdp is spent on health care. u.s. senate and house be focusing on repealing the affordable care act or on something that could drive down the costs of health care? caller: let's drive down the cost of health care. stop the government from buying sodas and junk food on the food stamp program because we know that leads to obesity and diabetes. go down the list. we create our own problem in this country and the government helps fuel it with the government food stamp program. let's start there. host: speaking of this health care legislation, the president tweeti geding
out -- bring us up to speed. where are they? any closer to knowing what will be this final package they will vote on in the senate? guest: they are not. earlierboat we all saw this week was for the motion to proceed. all that did was start a debate on the bill. , theret was a big hurdle was no actual legislation -- it was basically just a shell bill. . now, they have this whole process to fill in the bill. 20 hours of debate, but they can stop it and leave for the night and all these things. we still have 10 hours left.
that is when you will see members go up and either say they are for it or against it. the bill that was basically the senate leadership bill tried to make rob portman and ted cruz happy -- nine gop senators voted against it. yesterday, the straight repeal of obamacare failed. we are still in that debate stage. after that ends mother's something called -- after that ends, there's something called votearama. saidnight, chuck schumer we are not going to do that. we are going to let republicans completely own it.
we are not going to potentially offer a amendments that might make the bill a bit sweeter and they can say they have bipartisan support. we don't know what is in the final bill. the final bill will be whatever they can agree on throughout this process. what skinny repeal means. --st: it is this funny word it really caught on. itically, what it means is is going to be skinnier at the end, a skinnier repealed and where they started. if they want a full repeal, they can't pass that -- it's not like some bill is being drafted somewhere that everybody knows of and can agree on.
there's a couple of things they will probably be able to get 50 votes on, things like the individual mandate, repealing --t, the employer mandate they expect those are the things they can squeak through. at the end of all this procedural stuff, they will be able to pass something, even if it's kind of small. host: that allows them to do what next? guest: then, they take that something that they have passed and they go to conference. they meet back up with the house , the house passed their own they got something through and then they try to reconcile their differences and figure out some sort of bill everybody can agree on. it is a big risk for some moderates to vote for a skinny
repeal because it goes over to the house, which is more with moreve conservative members who have a real say and then they have to figure out what kind of bill and maybe the bill comes back more conservative. then with thepens support from moderate senators? are they able to get on board with something more conservative? guest: we really don't know. the way a lot of these lawmakers have been very clear about their position -- it goes to conference and they create a new bill and the senate and house has to vote on this again. at that point. this whole process of kicking the can down the road hoping , they are tired taking a lot of chances.
they have to keep moving forward. democrats are saying just give up and talk to us. they can't. they promised this for seven years. they have to exhaust the whole process. we have no idea what it will look like at the end. host: "the washington post" editorial says this morning -- congressional leaders will be n skeptical lawmakers against spoiling things when the party is so close to victory. it will only get harder for them to do so later. let's talk about opioid treatment and prevention funding. now to the effort right include that in any final legislation or is that something that will have to come in negotiations between the house and senate? guest: that will likely have to
come in negotiations. i guess it could come up in votearama. there's a group of senators from states that expanded medicaid under obamacare. weublican senators who say like what it has done for people, it has given them coverage. one of the big benefits is money for opioid addiction. , they have benefited from that money. that is a big concern. phasing out medicaid, they are worried that people in ohio will not get money to treat their addictions. rob portman has pushed really hard to get extra money for that. the bill that failed to nights two might to go, there was $100 billion -- two nights
ago, there was $100 billion to fund that. once there is a score, it can probably be voted on. it will be voted on with just 60 votes. when that happens, then they voting fory keep this because in conference, once it can move through with just 50 votes, that could end up in a final bill. host: we will be talking to senator portman, coming up on "washington journal." eliza collins, thank you very much. guest: thank you. host: gail in california. what do you think about the opioid situation? are you seeing it where you live? caller: it is absolutely
ridiculous here. you have no idea how bad it is. i'm three hours north of san francisco. 101 andht run on u.s. the mexican drug cartels are bringing this in. the methamphetamine addiction here is absolutely outrageous. . founda 30-year-old friend dead in a hotel room in the next , dead from heroind fro and methamphetamines. they get these opioids and they snort them with they crush them, they are selling them in training them. them. trading
i suffered a dramatic head injury when i was eight years old and it left me with a lot of neurological problems and i have legitimate pain issues. i'm 62 years old. when i go to fill a prescription at the pharmacy, i get a hard time from the pharmacists. there are people like me who take them according to the way they are prescribed. i'm not taking a huge amount of them. i'm not getting high on them come i'm not training them or snorting them or selling them. i get a hard time when i tried to get the prescription filled. between the alcohol in methamphetamines and opioids -- this town is a mess. host: who should take the lead? is washington responsible? caller: what you have to do, we
have to get boots on the ground from a national guard, whatever it takes and close our southern borders and shut the cartels down. host: you might be interested in a hearing we covered earlier this week where there was discussion about the border and part of that was the opioids that are coming across, the synthetic of fentanyl, which one witness told lawmakers is coming across the southern border even more potent versions are coming from china. it's not just across our southern border. go to www.c-span.org to find coverage of this situation. elizabeth in new york. you're on the air. caller: first, i wanted to say that i hear a lot of parents talking about how their child got started because they went to the dentist and had their wisdom
teeth pulled and they got opioids from the dentist and they ended up on heroin. i think there needs to be a study done of why some people get addicted and some people don't. my three children all had their wisdom teeth pulled and had opioids prescribed to them and none of them are addicted. i'm on opioids because i had spinal surgeries that failed. it lasted a good 30 years. i had a steel rod put in my back and they took bone for my hip and infused my spine and all that. i was in horrible pain. i wanted to die, the pain was so bad. i'm very, very careful. i take it exactly like i'm told to. alleviate all the
pain, i don't get high, but it allows me to function. i can get out of bed and get things done. i still have pain, but it is lessened because of the opioids. we are being treated terrible. the people who legitimately need it. it really bothers me. there needs to be a study done -- i take myself off of them occasionally just to check because it worries me -- i had a toothache i think my pain meds are masking this toothache. i have to go to the dentist because i don't want to become addicted. there has to be some sort of study done on why some people become addicted. there's a lot of people who taken opioids who are not addicted. , the steve scalise congressman shot during baseball practice for a charity game six
weeks ago was released from the hospital in virginia yesterday. he now faces intensive rehabilitation. that is the latest on the congressman. in "the new york times" this morning, the president's decision to ban transgender people from the military. elected to announce twitter -- "the wall street journal" has this graphic they put together about the numbers, transgender a little over 1500
reserves. $2.4 million a year for gender transition related care -- that's the estimated increase in .ilitary health care the president yesterday at the that house announced foxconn is building a plant in united states. they are being provided with a 15 year incentive package of tax credits according to scott walker, who attended yesterday's
announcement at the white house. are closingd senate in on agreement to sanction actions in ther election along with iran and north korea. this is the reaction from europe. as thein the crossfire u.s. turns on russia. russia warning there is little hope for normalizing relations with united states. in brussels, the european commission is concerned that big european energy groups that do business with russia will be caught in the crossfire of sanctions committee damaging strategic investments and jeopardizing the continent's energy security. the european commission has refused to say how it might retaliate against europe's
single most important ally. that is the latest on that in the papers. let's go to ted in oregon. good morning to you. you are on the air. caller: good morning. i admire your courage. i am a journeyman plumber, union, i've got all the cards to run oxygen in medical situations , youat i noticed over time would get drug manufacturers arriving on-site for luncheons with the medicos and they would tripsprizes and money and for so many units.
that's how they would phrase it, so many "units" of their medication. purdue, the only manufacturer of oxycontin, was one of the recipients of this process. i found it kind of shocking. , whenime, what i noticed i was a young apprentice on these kinds of jobs, the byilian hospitals were run doctors, by the medicos. over time, they were put out and the ceos and the cfos, the same people who would run any kind of were put in charge and that's where everything changed. i watch my news. engineer,d air force
old plumber from the active air force days of ronald reagan and jimmy carter. time was thatver the conversation had changed so drastically and i get my news from nhk out of japan, dw out of germany and the bbc and one thing i've learned is there been 5000 medicos arrested. you never hear that on the american news channels ever. host: andy in new york. good morning to you. caller: good morning. host: welcome to the conversation. caller: thank you for your great program. there's lots of problems in our and ourand ron paul government has failed the country -- the opioid epidemic
rapidly increased in the u.s. drug deaths in america are raising faster than ever -- rising faster than ever. me say something else that is very important for us and -- there are lots of problems, their revenues decrease every day and they want streams to revenue exploit, including drug smuggling in the u.s. they want to smuggle drugs to the u.s. that will be devastating in the near future.
host: some programming notes for all of your -- yesterday, the justice department officials testified before the senate judiciary committee about the foreign agents registration act. today is day two of that hearing, 9:00 a.m. eastern time. you can catch that on c-span3 or c-span.org or the free c-span radio app. the foreign agents registration act, the featured aspects issued a dire warnings that america has been overrun by spies and foreign lobbyists. the act requires people working on behalf of foreign governments attempting to influence u.s. public opinion or policy to register with the justice department. forces -- the act to declareatives
their associations. they, they will hear from driving force behind the sanctions law and neck in 2012 that punished russian officials responsible for the death of a russian lawyer in a moscow prison in 2009. -- the sanctions law enacted in 2012. that is at 9:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span3 this morning. yesterday, we also covered the irs commissioner and the treasury secretary talking about the treasury department budget, including money for the irs. this is the "washington times" headline.
if you're interested, you can go to our website, c-span.org, and find it there. also in the "washington post" --t the white house's plan b that they are getting close to announcing their tax plan. short-term tax plan of trump's overall plan. pursuing could again it as soon as september. it is a recognition of the challenges of the broader overall faces with the republican party struggling to find consensus on key parts of policy change. this is from a full-page ad in "wall street journal" and the "new york times." the fox panel taking out a quoting the "new
york times" about their network, "the most powerful tv show in america." ,o reset, daytona beach florida, we are talking about the opioid situation in this country. what is it like where you live? caller: it is pretty bad. we have had at least two people on our block, young people, who have died from overdoses. -- peopletarted forget rush limbaugh, who also lives in palm beach, one of jeb bush's neighbors, he used to send his housekeeper around to prescriptions filled. i guess he was going to blame her, but he got caught, never got in trouble. the republicans now in congress are not addressing bringing down the drug corps.
there was a show on "frontline" about how antibiotic resistant infections are on the rise. peoplempanies for years, have been pleading with them to do research on better antibiotics, but there is no money there, no profit. now, ae a president billionaire, and all he cousin that is making his millionaire caress -- and all he about is making his millionaire buddies happy. host: keith, kentucky. caller: can you hear me ok? host: yes. hearing people saying the "market solution." markets work when you have choices. we are all going to need health care. so we really do not have a choice not to have health care. we all have to have health care, we should all be willing to pay what we can afford. this does not seem that complicated. i think this is a red herring
the gop is putting out -- just give it to the states, the states know better where they have plenty states of resources and can handle that. many states, like kentucky, certainly can not. turning it over to the states is not the answer. i cannot understand why we cannot go to a system where we all pay what we can afford, focus on prevention instead of ways -- waiting for people to get sick and go to the emergency room, and we all end up paying anyway. host: by the way, coming up in withast hour, we will talk congressman rogers of kentucky, a republican, and cochair on the congressional caucus of prescription drug abuse. michael in ohio, good morning. how are you? caller: i am fine. so far. but i think the open your program can be controlled much better by not giving it to the younger people that have never been on it, give them something
else. and monitoring their pain better. you have people like myself that, since i was 24, i was off work for two years, recuperating from a surgery that removed half of my small intestine, -- three quarters of my small intestine and half of my colon. clot have a blood disease that has caused problems . there has not been a day without pain. i am 52 now. i do not abuse my drugs. they are there to control my pain come help me move around, and try to be somebody. without them, i literally cannot do anything. i cannot stand for more than a minute at a time without the pain control -- host: do you agree with your senator in his effort to make sure the funding for the
opioid crisis in ohio and other areas that -- caller: i agree there should be something that would help people to go in and control it if they are addicted. they can start by not even giving younger people or new patients, who have never had a surgery, such strong medicine -- medication. because it does give you a buzz, a pleasant feeling when you first get on it. host: what question do you have for your senator, then? he is about to join us here on the washington journal. caller: they want the money to spend to put more clinics in, more treatment in four people to help them manage it or get off of it and get on to something that actually controls their pain or, if they are without pain today and are just enjoying the medication. i think that is the case. then that is what should be addressed.
money should be spent for that. we pay for medicare all of our it anyntil we do not pay more, if we are on disability or social security, you no longer pay, but we do pay for our medicare. medicaid is not paid for by the people, it is paid for by their wealthier people, to take care of people like that. you cannot ignore them or the elderly when they are the ones who are suffering most. host: ok. all right, michael in ohio. we will leave it there. running us from capitol hill this morning is your senator, rob portman, a republican of ohio. thank you for joining us. i think you heard michael a little bit. he says he agrees with you and your effort to make sure that there is funding in any sort of health care repeal effort, to
address real buick situation, but he wants to know where that money would go. what would it be used for? guest: thanks for having me on trade i did hear the end of his question. he is right. we have a crisis right now. we need to ensure we are having not just the ability to get people into treatment but longer-term recovery. it is more successful. i have probably met with 1000 or more addict's or recovering addicts as we put together this legislation, the company has a addiction recovery act, and the notion is to get money to treatment centers, so people have access to treatment here but also sober housing and longer-term recovery, because we know that will lead to more successful results. that is what we have been promoting in the recent health care debate as well. there is a $45 billion fund that is part of the senate package that was uploaded on the other night that would provide states for funding to be able to continue what was already there,
which is called the "cures act." the $45 billion figure was derived the cause there is a good study in the journal of american medicine, done by researchers at harvard and nyu that says about $4.5 billion a year is used by medicaid expansion for the treatment of opioids. in other words, that people who are addicted are getting treatment through the expansion. we want to make sure those people continue to get access to treatment, because the alternative is far worse, which is overcrowding the emergency room's and ending up overcrowding jails and continuing to commit crimes that are associated with paying for the addiction habit and not going to work and not being able to achieve their god-given purpose in life. in a state like mine, where we overbly have, sadly, 22,000 people addicted, we have
to get people into treatment. we think eight out of 10 people who should be in treatment are not in treatment. are in aunately, they tough situation. we have a higher demand then we have treatment facilities. we do not want to reduce that ability to have access to treatment. we want to get people into treatment. longer-term, the solution is prevention and education. redouble our efforts immediately. that is something that has to have been starting very young. i think it is a k through 12 proposition. then, continuing this effort, as mothers against drunk driving get, as we did with smoking cessation, for everyone to understand the dangers of opioids, specifically the connection between prescription and theainkillers, opioid crisis. because many people do not know
through inadvertently, accident or injury, and up getting involved in taking pain medication that causes an addiction, a physical change in their brain, to become addicted. that is something we can address through an aggressive public service campaign that is not being done now. you recall back in the 1980's, it effort against the drugs, did work. we had a reduction in the use of drugs. we have to get back to that, in in regards to heroin and synthetic heroin, like fentanyl. host: your colleagues on the joint economic committee, the together, have put their analysis, and they say the $45 billion that you have pushed for, falls far short for all states, including ohio. they say opioid treatment could
by 2026.2 billion 40 $5 billion is a lot of money. it is historic and unprecedented. we have never tried something like this before. i am not sure what numbers they are talking about. i suppose with regard to treatment across the board, that is true. but this does not say there would not continue to be treatment, so i am not sure what number they are talking about. the $45 billion, if it were distributed to the states in the way the formula works under the cures act, which is the current $45 millionrovides a year, that formula would result in a state like ohio million aabout $240 year for this purpose. we have never had those kinds of funds before.
let's be sure that we are using their money wisely. the one thing i think is really important is when you have a program like this that you ensure the funds are being used in evidence-based programs, that we are not just throwing money into a problem, that we are using it in a way that focuses on what works. there are some things that work better than others, including the longer-term recovery reality. we spent years researching. we had five conferences in washington, brought in experts from all over the country. what is the best practices, what inworking in maine, california, what can be spread out across the states? funding is directed at those kind of purposes. we need to make sure we are not just coming up with new funding without the kind of evidence and science behind it to know it is working, whether it is prevention, treatment, or
recovery. it is a tough issue. the number one cause of death now surpassing core accidents, in my home state of ohio. most people think it is the number one cause of accidental death in the country. we have a drug epidemic that is worse than we have ever had in the history of our country. i have been involved in this issue over 20 years. coalition about 22 years ago in ohio. it has changed a lot since then. at that point, it was more focused on cocaine, marijuana, to a certain extent, methamphetamine, because crystal meth is an issue as well. then we saw prescription drugs creeping into ohio. that has translated into this issue of opioids, which is prescription drugs and heroin, and now synthetic heroin. in my home state, the biggest increase we see right now is the synthetic heroin. fentanyl, carfentanil.
this comes in primarily by the u.s. mail system, primarily from countries,er primarily china. i have legislation, called the " to at least require the post office to require that there be advance information as to where a package is coming from, what is in it, where it is going, so law enforcement, who strongly support our legislation, can identify these packages and keep some of the poison out. it israeli scary, where people are getting fentanyl through the mail and distributing it and really scary, is where people are getting fentanyl through the mail and distributing it and using it. it is country leading to more deaths per overdose. we have a real crisis. crisis, the fact that you have worked on it for so many years, if, in the end,
there is only a skinny repeal to the on, that is it repeals mandates on individuals and employers and takes away the not include does funding for the opioid crisis, will you vote for it? guest: we will see what is in the final package. we do not know what is in it. i have heard for five different descriptions or the one you gave is possible. the $45 billion is focused on those who were not continue to be covered under the medicaid expansion. the skinny package you are talking about would not include dealing with medicaid expansion. some would argue that would continue the coverage out there now, and that that may be better. i do not think it is better for the country, not to have a replacement for the affordable care act. i do not think it is working for ohio or our country. in terms of the affordable care act, to back up on that, we have
19 counties in my state without an insurance company and the individual market. another 27 counties with only one insurer. that is not competition. that is one reason prices have gone up dramatically. about double for individuals. 82% for small businesses. this is premiums. but we also have skyrocketing deductibles. a lot of people who have health care tell me it is like they do not even have it, because the deductible is so high. these are issues that have to be addressed. the package you just talked about would not address those issues. they would leave a lot of people high and dry. i would hope we can do better than that, do more than that, including the $45 billion we talked about. we will see what that package looks like. i think the affordable care act, the status quo, is not sustainable. it is not working for ohio. we need a replacement, not just a repeal. senator rob portman, we
thank you for spending some of your day with us this morning. i know it is a busy day for all the senators with the debate on health care. we appreciate it. guest: thanks for your focus on the of your issue. just by talking about it, you are in a position to help people and save lives. this is a true crisis to the more information people have, the better off they will be. it.: we appreciate and it is a conversation we are having with you, about the , where youation live. telling washington, by calling in, what you are seeing, how it is impacting you, and what do you want lawmakers to do about it, on the federal level or state level. let's go to vonnie in pennsylvania. good morning. caller: good morning. the gentleman that just spoke, the senator, he was 100% on the money. have a pennsylvania, we
county where the legislators want to discontinue the dispensation of narcan, because they are saying it ties up their costsrs, their emt's, it money, and the addicts should not be resuscitated but should just fend for themselves. people do not understand -- if you have the chemical addiction in your brain, you have no choice but to acquire these drugs to live a normal life. host: zach in tennessee, what do you think? caller: i think your last caller was absolutely wrong. my grandpa used to say you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. you can take a kid to school, but you cannot make him think kate my wife worked at a drug addiction center. one of the counselors was a former addict. when he went to the dentist, he would not even take a title --
tylenol. it is a personal responsibility crisis. the government, what are they going to do? they can't. you cannot throw money at someone to make them not take drugs. host: edward in new jersey, good morning. thatr: i would like to say people are working longer and harder for less. the reason why people are doing these drugs is they think society has nothing to offer them, there is nothing there. i would also like to say the $22 billion a year we spent as a getting marijuana needs to end. people would not be exposed to hard drugs that they could just by marijuana in stores. issues.to address these but definitely the income inequality, the fact that people do not need to do drugs, that they have a quality of life that is worthless. host: all right.
let's go back up to capitol hill. , aator sheldon whitehouse democrat from rhode island. could you explain for our viewers what the situation is like in rhode island, with opioids. guest: rhode island is not the hardest hit state in the country, but is one of the hardest hit states in the country. we had more than 250 people die last year of opioid overdoses. areunately, i think we responding well. our governor has a good statewide plan. our recovery groups are very active. and we are developing new techniques, like having recovery experts and that it right -- experts embedded in police departments, so they can follow up so everybody understands what their options are with respect to recovery treatment, and to
deal with people in crisis and make sure they are getting the help that they need. we are pushing forward, but it remains a formidable hazard. it seems like every step we take forward, there is another advance in the drug. we have gone from heroin to fentanyl to carfentanil. it is getting so dangerous now that law enforcement sometimes has to respond in hazmat suits. host: what is the cost to the state of rhode island? guest: i would not know, but it is considerable. when you have 270 people dead, that is a toll in lives that dwarfs any concern, to me, about money. we are losing way too many people, and very often, they are very good people. host: what do you think should be done on the federal level to address this? guest: you had senator portman on. ofand i wrote the confidence addiction recovery act. that needs to be implemented.
the positionsill and implement that law. we are also owed the second half billion dollars in funding that we were promised. that needs to be part of the september funding resolution. finally, they need to stop trying to knock down medicaid, when medicaid is the support for so many families who have addiction as an issue. host: how do you respond to a couple of callers who have said this is a personal responsibility issue, that you cannot throw enough money at it to make people not use drugs? guest: you can have all the personal responsibility you want , but if you do not have access to suboxone -- and we know medication-assisted treatment works, if there is not someone there when you reach out so you can start your path to sobriety, that will not work. there are tough decisions people have to make when they have an addiction, but if the support
network is not there for them, the medical support, you will continue to lose these good people to overdoses. it is a human tragedy. we have a little town in northern rhode island, and when i started working on this, they had lost six people in the first quarter of that year, the first three months. that is a small town -- about 5000 people. take six deaths out of that town, and it is like beating on a bruise. andust hurt them again again. it is important we responded i think addicts are not -- it is important we respond. i think addicts are not disposable people. when they are on that path, it is a hard and noble path. people show a of bravery, resilience, when they are on that path. host: another sentiment we are hearing this morning from our viewers, as we spend three hours
talking about this opioid situation, is those that take opioids for pain management, and they do it responsibly, telling us they get such a hard time when they go to get their prescription filled or when they go to see their doctor. how do you address that situation? guest: it is a tough balance. i actually started in on this issue as attorney general, years ago, trying to make sure people who were getting near the end of their life were getting adequate pain treatment, because doctors were getting shy about prescribing these drugs because of dea oversight. what the comprehensive addiction recovery act does is push for best practices in prescribing. i remember my daughter had her wisdom teeth out, and she got a discussion for 40 like it in. she may have taken -- four 40
vicodin. i think she took three. -- if we had gone to the pharmacy and said can we just have five, and if we need more, we will come back, they would have said no. we need to make sure it is there when it is needed. this is a valuable medication. ont: how do you crack down the fentanyl, the synthetic from china, where we learned in a hearing the other day that they are very potent -- much stronger than other synthetics that officials are seeing? guest: we are hearing concerns that these high potency fentanyls could actually be agents in an incident where they are trying to create mass casualties, they are that strong. that police officers who go to the scene where these high fentanylst to no --
are present, they have to wear hazmat suits, where people can get poisoned with just skin contact. this issue needs to be raised with china, so we're not getting so much of it in. law is an area where enforcement are working hard, cracking down on the systems that distribute this. and people do not know what they are buying. it creeps into the supply, and somebody goes and gets their hit of drugs from their dealer, and this time it has fentanyl, and this time, they are overdosing. it is not one shot of knock on -- of no -- of narcan, it's 6, 7, 8 shots. host: and the cost of narcan has gone up. guest: that brings us to another question of why we are allowing the use companies to raise the
cost of these drugs. host: senator, thank you for spending some of your time with us. guest: thanks for focusing on an important issue. host: back to our calls. gabrielle in north carolina. what do you think? definitelyhink it is out of control. i want to say to mr. white house, he has done a fantastic job up in that state -- i used to live in that state. i was there before he was a representative. but i will say this, as a medical professional -- highly trained, and i will leave it at that -- there is an overwhelming problem that i think he just started to touch on. that is the seriousness of the founders single -- pharmaceutical companies that are out of control. we are one of the only countries that allow pharmaceutical companies that allow direct
market to consumers. they do not allow it in europe. it becomes a constitutional freedom of speech thing, but it also becomes a national security problem, because you have these ad abouto watch an attorneys telling patients, if you are taking this drug, stop taking it to cut as it causes this, this, and they stop taking the drug and it causes a massive stroke. we major issue that i think were starting to get to, with the opioid epidemic, is that people are following into this category of accepting a medication without ever really having a full discussion with how, doctor about potentially, threatening this could become. and more of the problem -- i would be interested to get this information about what is the likelihood, the prevalence of
the prescription drug versus non-prescription, the legal -- the illegal, on the street. i know that statistic is out there, but if people would sit down, discuss it, and then hold the industry, the medical doctors, pharmaceutical companies, hold them accountable where they have to sit down and discuss with the patient before they ever start that type of medication, have to sit down and say this is the likelihood of it becoming a habitual medication in your day-to-day use. once it does, you are going to need help. and if you start that way, instead of just saying this is aspirin, take aspirin, or this is motrin, and it is not that big of a deal -- that is the way it comes across. pharmaceutical companies -- sheldon whitehouse, he spoke
right to that, i think that is the key problem. host: d.j., kentucky. good morning. caller: i have a couple of things to say. i talked to mitch mcconnell about this. i think the opioid crisis, i think they should be pulled out of the health care decision. you have to want the treatment. if you do not want it, you never go on it. number two, you need a support system. number three, you have to be away from the friends and family where you were living, because they are your enablers. number one, people need to be held accountable. accountability for their own, personal -- number two, if we are going to help them, we to give them the help they need. for them to make it, they need to be away from everyone they got in trouble with to start with. them churches -- bring into the fall of the churches. they need a good system of
people who can steer them in the right direction, help them get jobs, hold them accountable. if they are going to a party, take somebody with them that they know are not going to let them. put a leg monitor on them, , ase know where they are taxpayers, if we are going to pay for their treatment. and i have one more thing to say about the health care bill. those six republicans who voted against that yesterday -- they never voted for obama care. host: all right. now, we are going to go up to the state of new hampshire, where some have called it ground zero for the opioid crisis. joining us as governor chris sununu, the son of the former governor of new hampshire, and -- and former and chief of staff.
why is new hampshire called ground zero for the opioid crisis? ofst: new hampshire is one the first states that entered this crisis. we have a high winds of overdoses and deaths for a few years. given our size i really believe we were one of the first state in, but we will be one of the first states out. what we are doing in terms of innovating, being experimental about our treatment -- even interdiction and enforcement, getting those pieces working together has given us great results. we are seeing an uptick in terms of a light at the end of the tunnel. it will be years before any of this, out of this, but you have to be able to push the limits to the citizens. tot: when it comes prevention, how are you dealing with pharmaceuticals in your state? the legal prescriptions. and how are you dealing with the illegal influx of drugs like fentanyl, etc.? two separate questions
for it first on the pharmaceutical side, we are a believer of limiting the number of pharmaceuticals you can get perp restriction. there is no reason you need 30 opioids or paying bills for a wisdom tooth. those days are over. we banned them for children under the age of 18 without a parental notification. we have limited them for procedures for adults as well. talking about fentanyl and carfentanil -- we have had fentanyl in our state for a couple of years. we have had 20 dense already from carfentanil. it is now 100 times more powerful than fentanyl. we are dealing with a whole different level of not addiction but the death rate. looking at the prevention side, you have to look at what you're doing in terms of pharmaceuticals. and you have to look at what is going on in schools. i have a 12-year-old and 11-year-old and four-year-old. as a parent, i have had that tough conversation with my wife about what is going on in
schools p my kids have gone through prevention programs. are completely revamping our prevention programs to make sure from grades one through 12, not only do have the right message, but we are talking about them in a modern way. the addiction and death rates of this epidemic is nothing we have ever seen it -- seen before. you cannot compare it to crack of the 1990's. we have to have different messaging. putting ads on tv, that might sound like a good idea, but kids do not watch tv. they do not. they are on their devices. we are having students designed the prevention messaging for us, and we are putting the money to get it into digital media, in ways they receive it for you they are not getting that message anymore from a 65-year-old guy. they are getting it from a 22-year-old who just came through recovery. getting it from a fellow teenager, who has dealt with
this, who are struggling with it, coming back to help. that peer-to-peer messaging makes all the difference. by involving and modern -- by that is the message, how they get the best results. host: how much is this costing new hampshire? to reverse anugs overdose. the strain on paramedics. after you talk about the cost, do you need the federal government to send more money to your state of new hampshire? should this health care law include $45 billion or more for the opioid situation? huge. the cost is we just had a study done here. the overall cost -- $2.5 billion to our state. the cost of workforce, health care, recovery, medicine, the
treatment. it is in the billions. for a small state like new hampshire, it is huge. factoid -- in that same study, the health care cost was 350 million dollars. the cost to the workforce was five times that. when you look at the overall economic impact of this crisis, not just the cost of public dollars going out the window, it is huge. astronomical. there are so many folks trapped out of the workforce now, because they are dealing with recovery issues. cover he is a lifelong issue for some folks. we have to design systems to entice those folks back into the workforce. what we are doing with our workforce, recovery friendly workforce programs, which we will release in the next month or so, will be transformative in terms of providing a safe, supportive place for people to reenter the workforce. when you look at the public dollars, it is huge.
my latest budget, we doubled the palcohal fund, that we can put towards recovery and treatment. we doubled it can and probably still is not enough. any dollars that come from the federal government is helpful. medicaid expansion is helpful in getting a lot of folks treatment and recovery. at the same time, we have obama care, which is on the verge of collapse across the country. so what solutions is washington putting out to not just keep it going but really evolving this. it is not about keeping medicaid expansion or obamacare going. failed,ograms have especially here in new hampshire. we need new solutions. we do not need congressmen and women standing up and saying no, we just have to keep the status quo -- status quo does not work. when you have lives on the line, people dying every day across the country, washington has to start doing their job. they have to put a viable solution together.
they have to start working for the people of the country. host: what is a viable solution? guest: flexibility. as governors across the country, we can implement and how the charge of implementing far more than washington does. washington once the send -- set up a platform, that is wonderful. provide funding, great. but give governors the lux ability to meet the needs of their constituents. we had the care is act -- we had , they did it on a per capita basis. while we are on ground zero in new hampshire, we got vastly shortchanged. there are some states that got 10 times the dollar is but a fraction of the opioid crisis we do. washington has to be smarter about how they allocate the money and allow governors the bucks ability to design systems to meet the needs of their own
constituencies -- of the flexibility to design systems to meet the needs of their constituencies. host: well, governor sununu -- i called you senator -- guest: i am not going to washington. i am concerned about giving a this crisismalcy to affecting the country. host: will governor, thank you for joining us. let's get back to our calls with you. we go to wyoming. gordon is there. usis your turn to tell what you are seeing. definitely.ention, grades one through 12, the governor mentioned. every day, perhaps -- i do not know what it will take. but it needs to be explained to kids the side effects that are
devastating. side effects and the devastating aftereffects of drugs. and alcohol, for that matter. with maybe some graphic video for the high school kids or junior high, if they can handle the images of some of the aftereffects that these people go through, who are addicted. and then senator whitehouse .entioned suboxone that is an excellent medication. it has an opiate unit, but it antagonist rug about brings severe withdrawal symptoms if it is abused. but it needs to go to generics. suboxone is the commercial name. generic, then a lot of folks that are seeking treatment will be able to afford
it. host: you sound like you have learned a lot about this issue. why is that? how do you know so much about the different drugs? guest: i have -- caller: i have a family member who is recovering from heroin. it has been a tough road, but we are making progress. methadone has been a big help. inconvenient, because it is a liquid, and he butto take it once a day, buprenorphine is a better treatment than methadone. message forve that folks. host: gordon in wyoming, thank you. ronald in california, good
morning. caller: hi, greta. good morning. host: what are your thoughts? go ahead? caller: first, i appreciate where society is in attempting to address the opioid crisis. i read an article -- i believe it was cnn -- talking about how upset he was that he had to sentence a grandmother to a mandatory minimum for opioid use. my frustration is this -- that we have been having this conversation for a long time in urban areas and other affected populations, where previously we called it a crime wave. it seemed to be a law enforcement problem. but it is not a health care problem. we still have mass incarceration of young, black males with minor offenses forug certain things.
but now that serve urban czar affected by the drug problem, it seems like society has a different view. it seems uneven. host: clyde in new jersey, what are your thoughts? caller: good morning. i counted one of the things that -- itnator in new jersey was about addiction. it was interesting. myself, i am a recovering alcoholic. i have been clean now 28 years, in sobriety. i share, when they had people up there for addiction problem -- i am a friend of dr. bob and bill everybodyally hurts throughout the whole country. but i think they have organizations out there, which i found out through this thing
about parent to parent, like the rehab and stuff like that, and i just wanted to say i am glad they are doing this, and i hope the congressmen and senators have a similar program throughout the country, because this is one issue for everybody. host: this opioid situation is part of the debate, here in washington, over what to do with the affordable care act. republican senators, democratic senators, one, if there is going to be medicaid expansion taken away, which happened under the affordable care act, republican senators in states where medicaid has helped, especially with the opioid situation, they want money put into whatever they vote on to address the situation. that initial provision was part of a bill voted on earlier this
week and failed. a clean repeal, by senator rand paul, failed yesterday. now, there is talk of a so-called "skinny repeal." that would do away with the individual mandate, and some taxes under the affordable care act. not a full repeal. it would take out portions of it. that would allow, according to senate republicans, allow them to meet with the house members and conference, negotiate, on a bill that would then have to to both chambers. senate minority leader chuck schumer, democrat of new york, came to the floor to talk about this option of a skinny repeal. what he said about how democrats , their strategy going forward. [video clip] this evening to announce the democrats will offer no further amendments to the pending legislation until
the republican leader shows us what the final legislation will be. billly, the senate repealed and replaced has failed. senator paul failed, repeal with our place. we know the republicans are not going to take a final vote on the underlying house bill, which is still pending legislation. now, the republican leadership team has been telling the press about a yet to be disclosed final bill. if the reports are true, the republicans will offer a skinny repeal play in -- plan. we just heard from the nonpartisan congressional budget office that, under such a plan, as reported in the press, 16 million americans would lose their health insurance. 20%millions more would pay increase in their premiums.
at least 20%. and i want to thank senators murray and widen -- wyden with working with cbo so we could figure out what is going on, if this skinny bill is brought to the floor. my republican friends come to the floor to assail the problem of high premiums. if the reporting is accurate and skinny repeal is their plan, it makes premiums for higher than they are today. we do not know if skinny repeal will be their final bill. but if it is, the cbo says it would cause costs to go up and millions to lose insurance. host: senator chuck schumer, the democratic leader in the senate, saying democrats will not offer any more amendments. today, it is expected that senators will start a "vote-a- rama," and open for debate where
any amendment will be offered, then they will hold a series of votes, and they will end up with a final package. on the idea of a skinny repeal, -- "washington post," on a this proposal will cause premiums to spike 20%, according to the cbo. the existing mandate is aimed at free riders who refuse to pay coverage, then demand society pick up the tab when they go to the emergency room. without it, some people would decline to buy into the health insurance system, making the pool generally sicker and more expensive. premiums would have to rise, and the free riders would get a pass. let's go to alan in georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. , editorial comment, about c-span and your topics in the morning, the i have listened to many years, is that you talk
about problems, but you do not ask the public what they would do to fix the problem specifically -- host: that is definitely part of the conversation this morning. caller: anyway, my comment, but has -- because i know senators and congressmen are listening to this, is my belief is that they are just interested in their own reelections, not the public. they will say anything necessary and spend any amount of money, increasing the national debt purely to get reelected. that is what is going on with the opioid crisis. here are solutions -- the genesis of the problem is that prescriptions out to opioids like candy. the way to stop that, which is that genesis of why people get addicted, is to force the m.d.'s
to write handwritten notes into the record about why that patient needs opioids, two pages minimum, plus one page per each additional five tablets. because doctors, like everyone else, are lazy. they do the minimum to make the most amount of money. they will soon get tired of frighten -- writing handwritten notes specific to that particular patient, and they will stop prescribing opioids. the second thing to do is to disregard comments people make about accountability. in washington, accountability means nothing at all. it means you only get one drink ticket at the cocktail party's sponsoring,es are helping to pay for the , their committee seats and their reelection. so you go to the doctor, the scrgency room and if they
rew up, you sue. if they prescribe opioids -- i will give you an example. i had to go to the emergency room for the first time ever about three months ago. at the end of the one hour $1000, theh costed nurse said on a scale of 10, how is your pain? because i came in with some pain, of course. she said 10 israeli terrible, zero is nothing. i said to zero. i had no pain, the problem is resolved. you know what happened? opioids.prescribed i was so angry about that, and because the m.d. made mistakes, i have taken that m.d. to small claims court. if every member of the public believes the m.d. has screwed up
and prescribed opioids and sues that m.d., they will stop prescribing opioids completely. georgia with his thoughts on solutions to this opioid crisis an epidemic in the country. in new york. what are your thoughts on it? you are on the air. caller: hi. one of the things i would like to bring up is that there is a lot of churches, religious organizations, that are responding to the epidemic of addiction. i am fromce, watertown, new york. we are about 30,000 people. we have two churches in town that are completely focused and identified with trying to work with people to get them through
their addictions. theyprovide counseling, provide clothing, they even provide some rehabilitation. with ay provide them community that is nonjudgmental of those kinds of things. so there is a lot of things that are going on underneath what we look at, for instance, the government and how it is reacting and the doctors. there is a lot of stuff going on tuff -- thehe s stuff we normally talk about. host: jerry in new york. we encourage you to keep calling in. today's "washington journal" dedicating the whole three hours and thepioid epidemic health-care debate in
washington. what is it like where you live, what do you think washington should do about it, and what is happening on the state level? the phone numbers on your screen. ato sent us a tweet @cspanwj and posted on facebook. in other news, the president's attorney of his general -- of the epa was the acting fbi director under president nixon -- has advice for the president. "don't sack the special counsel." about how to party yourself, but reconsider the wisdom of firing the man charged by your own attorney general russianking intervention into your election.
to -- the result might be the same as what president nixon faced when he forced elliott richardson and me to resign for refusing to obey his order. and on another piece of advice -- for the sake of the country and your own legacy, please listen to the goring -- growing being faithful to the oath of office you took and by upholding the traditions of a nation of laws, not of men. the chorus he is referring to our papers like breitbart, national review, others defending the attorney general, as well as others on capitol hill. this morning, the "wall street journal" editorial, the a.g. was was following the
law and sound advice. the editorial in the "washington times," the war against the wrong man. they say the president's fight with jeff sessions makes him look weka. --weak. back to our discussion with you crisis.e opioid let's go to buddy. caller: i am a recovering addict and alcoholic. i have been clean and sober 40 years. forave been taking oxycodone to a severe accident i had, and none of the nonnarcotic medications they gave me did anything about my pain. and i am, after 11 years, i am addicted to this stuff.
however, as long as i do this and take this the way my doctor prescribes it and do not abuse it, i do not feel like i am relapsing or anything like that. has been about opioids around for a long, long time. one of the things that i find in the nashville area is that there are rehabilitation places, detox places, where people can go. however, they only, if you are fiveg more than milligrams, they will not even let you in. it is like what is a person, whom is actually maybe not in the situation i am in -- i just had another operation the 27th of last month. that is the 13th operation i have had on my foot. , who isa person to do taking more than five milligrams
of this medication, and he wants to get off it, and he goes to a detox, and they will not take him in, because he has taken too much? we will leave your thoughts there and go back up to capitol hill. senator maggie hassan, democrat from new hampshire, is here to talk about the debate in your washington. we heard from your governor, chris sununu, who said it is not -- the solution to the opioid not medicaid expansion under the affordable care act. he thinks governors like himself need flexibility. how do you respond to that? guest: first of all, thank you for having this program and focusing on this issue. it is the most pressing public safety challenge we have in new hampshire, as is true for many states. i am grateful for the focus your putting on it this morning. the experts who treat people
with substance abuse disorder tell us in new hampshire is our bipartisan medicaid expansion program under the affordable care act is the single biggest 20 they have had -- tool they for had to try to stand up the treatment that people need. i respect fully disagree with the governor's comment, as you relayed it to me. what i think important is that we focus on the flexibility are medicaid expansion program does have, we focus on both the supply and demand issue. i was proud as governor, we came together, past the bipartisan medicaid expansion program. about 50,000 hard-working granite status have gotten care and treatment, some of which is for substance abuse and treatment, some of which is with behavioral health, which occurs with substance abuse disorder.
in the meantime, here in the capital, i am working as hard as i can to stand up against these repeal efforts by the republican majority in the senate that would rip health care away for millions while driving up premiums. that would not help. i am working with members of both parties on a number of bills to try to do everything we can to confront this epidemic and turn the tide. host: we will get to solutions in a minute, but senator, first on the repeal effort, the governor said that the affordable care act is collapsing in the state of new hampshire. guest: actually, what we know is with the trump administration sabotaging the affordable care act have had insurance companies come forward and say they are seeing instability requiring them to jack up their
prices. they say a good portion of that is because of what the trump admits ration is doing to destabilize the situation. we need to calm together. -- come together. i was pleased the governor came forward and said he thought the repeal effort that was discussed last week would hurt our state. ripping medicaid away from millions of people. childrenw hampshire's get their health care through medicaid. two out of three new hampshire people in nursing homes are getting coverage through medicaid. there is community support that allows them to live and work because of medicaid. we need to be focused on the harm that
as well as people who providers have said our country these repeal efforts would eeply drastically undermine efforts to combat this crisis. there is more we need to be doing. need to find balance, i was listening to the caller on suffers came on, who from chronic pain and opioid have been effective for him. doing the kind of things like when i was governor new hampshire, make sure providers have up to date using g, make sure we're prediction drug monitoring programs effectively, we made hat mandatory while i was governor. we know we need to stand up, drug courts, which we did and with law enforcement to the issue.s
the most important thing we can medicaid erve expension and work together to further.his issue host: on the supply side, senator, talk more about what be done to stop the flow f the illegal opioids that are coming into this country. > well, first of all, we know that strengthening border security is a piece of this, senator portman and i for are on the stop act together, aimed at making sure fentanyl from p coming into this country, especially through our mail. another oung, republican senator, and i are on that that makes clear docto doctors -- works to make sure abuse understand deterrent to opioid can be just opioid.tive as other
senator mansion and i are on put a at bill that would fee on opioids so that we could the some revenue to address epidepic in any number of ways, hose are some things we can do here when it comes to the law enforcement side of things, we our state andthen federal collaboration, the dea, police and local police in ew hampshire are working to do everything they can to curb the supply. as long as there is demand people aren't getting treatment, we will continue to see this epidemic grow. senator, what about the doctors, should there be curtail he books that how much doctors can prescribe opioids? senator: what we did in new a law that says every professional licensing oard for doctors, for nurse
practitioners and the like, had aboutise their guidelines how many opioids or how much opioids can be prescribed combat especially for people presenting with acute pain. i think that is a really important thing. doctors need to be trained in this area, a lot of doctors, who practicing, never had any training in pain management or addiction. so we know they need training, e also know that our prescribing guidelines need to put limitos how many pills can prescribed at one time. at least when people first present with acute pain, because we know, people often get 30 opioids after a wisdom extraction, for instance and probably only need opioids to control two pain, now you have excess sitting around in someone's edicine cabinet, where a teenager might be able to get at it and experiment with it. people, whose brain
susceptiblekes them to it, taking opioid once or wice can put them on the path to addiction. we know there is lots we need to do. all-hands-on-deck effort we've been making in new ampshire and need to make as a country, the most important thing we need to do is keep epublican senate bills from passing because they will rip away health care from millions need it ans when they and that will include treatment for substance misuse. thing that is important to understand, if people don't get treatment for for underlying pain or behavioral health, if they don't integrated health care that robust insurance plan traditional medicaid or medicaid expansion provides, hey are at greater risk of the common addictive because of the nderlying physical condition
treated. host: senator, what has struck opioid epidemic? firsthand?you seen come r: so many have forward to talk about their experience with this substance misuse epidemic. parents who bravely wrote in their child's obituaries that their wonderful son died of heroin overdose, a me dmother who came to during the annual easter egg state house to show e her grandchild whose mother had died just the previous month from an opioid addiction. people from all walks of life, people have been speaking out, they have been forward, talking about their need for treatment, for ecovery services, as well, for all of us to work together. hat i continue to hear from
people is how much of a difference treatment has made in of a life, how much difference medicaid expansion has made in people getting access to treatment. a woman named elizabeth, who spoke with me just couple weeks summersworth about the fact that now that she's had treatment, she is well, she is working, helping others. a welcome named ashley, who got expansion treatment after she went to drug court, fter she spent time in jail, she got well, as a result, moved off medicaid expansion because got a job and she gets her insurance from her employer. help other rking to people who are suffering with addiction, as well. tells us that ry medicaid expansion has helped treatment, they've gotten better and they are turning and helping others and me, recovery to has a ripple effect throughout the community, throughout the state and the country.
is also important economically, new future is one experts in new hampshire on this issue. did a study that said in 2014, cost in new hampshire of substance misuse epidemic was $2.4 billion. we know that we all do better hen we're all healthy and productive, that is what a truly integrated healthcare system has access to care and substance misuse treatment, that is why that is important and what i'm fighting for in washington. ost: senator maggie hassan, democrat of new hampshire, thank you for joining us on are ington journal," we spending all three hours talking bout the conditions across the country. thank you. let's go back to the call. kingston, new hampshire. ames, you heard from your republican governor and your democratic senator, what are you think something
lovely state of new hampshire. one question, dear, before i say something. i wonder why the moderators on't have to declare themselves, democratic, republican, i'm curious why you a little r or d under your name. ith my comment, great civic class, i love it, i learn so much. friends.watch and tell maggie hassan is a governor, c sorry, she did a horrible job in the state. epidemic, my belief, i'm shining a light in the other part of the room. the money.llow what i mean, hon, follow the money. jails counselors, involved, courts involved, you involved, drug laws involved, you got third grow countries thanksgiving stuff involved and ow the big circle goes on and
on and on and politicians and governors talk about how they will cure the world. nice, it's a dream. people like to feel good and they are doing this stuff. demand, you have supply and it's been go og for many and years and it's getting worse w. her as overnor, it's gotten worse in the state. numbers have come up, not come ng people, they have up. people move intoing rural towns a fortune. host: all right, james, let me answer your question about the in the chair as moderators, that is our job, between a conversation you and other callers and the guests that sit at our table, lawmaker or a ournalist and like someone hosting a dinner party our job is to stay neutral and let you ave the sxfrgz stay out of the way of that conversation. lynn, silver spring, maryland.
lynn, good morning, go ahead. greegreet, as rning, always, a great job. 'm floored what an amazing job you do at staying neutral. i would be rolling my eye or what,ng my head and saying thank you very much, you do a great job. injured many years ago, i'm in my 60s now. had, as a pedestrian, my knee lived onen two cars, i narcotics for 23 years. i did not become addicted. earlier a man called who had colon cancer and a bad ack and he couldn't get medication, to me, that is horrible. -- remember when this started about two years ago and do the call often like many days a week, there was obamacare at about the time, the thing about out and doctors
had begun. they also had at the same time, sitting there watching it and i don't watch t.v. anymore, i listen on the god you are on the radio, but fentanyl came out to dispensed from emergency rooms, approved by the cd.c., or that is a thought, really stupid thing to do, if people worried about getting addicted to percocet, hy are you putting fentanyl on the market? what happened, a patent was unning out on a lot of pain drugs and they changed the formula to keep the patent and lot of prevent a generics and all this addiction stuff started up. you, after an tell 20 years of daily narcotics, i have the don't chronic pain, i could not have worked as bad as the pain is. higher pain ave levels, some people have lower pain levels. mother can tolerate stuff
that would kill me. ache, ago, she got an ear i said, she needs something for pain, i have never seen her cry pain. but we have frightened doctors nd they don't want to prescribe. when i've had pain or something happened, i had a tooth i was in pain for three weeks, instead of scaring people half toer death, why don't we start advising people to lockup their meds the way we tell them to take precautions with firearms. lynn, leave it , there. virginia, good morning. go ahead. caller: thanks for taking my call. going to this is never end, the gentleman who spoke two said supply s ago and with the group that urchased and so that's true, it's a big, giant circle. we're all scared to death of could take place.
there needs to be a death sellers and ched to people who provide it, especially if it is coming from country.e we need to, when something is so fast, so great, you are not going to stop it. -- it is only ng going to get worse and worse. i think with do, the position of politicians and no longer of us being a land of laws. do have great laws, they're never -- nobody does anything about it. won't take any more of your time, greta, i like you a lot, you're good at what you do, hang in there. god bless. host: that was virginia. capitol hill this morning, joining us from there is kentucky republican rogers who is co-chair of the congressional aucus on prescription drug
abuse. congressman, why co-chair this caucus?ar congressman: well, we're in the plague.f a c.d.c. call its epidemic and ription medicine abuse now heroin and there needs to be a focus on that in the congress. so i put together with bono in the o, this caucus house to address the problem facing.re all i come by this honestly, in my kentucky, it is really where the prescription abuse problem first became known. district was named -- and now this problem affects every
the country and you get a feeling, a little bit of what people during the dark ages must have felt plague that was indiskrcrim le innately through the land. that is what is happening, we are losing people everyday to verdoses on prescription medicine, just prescription medicine, not counting the other drugs out there like heroin. it is a major epidemic that we're fighting across the takes all of us. it : congressman, how did start in your district? congressman: i first became the lexington n headline calling east kentucky per capita rescription drug users in the country, i didn't believe it at first. around egan to inquire
and unfortunately, it was true. started to try to find out how do we tackle this problem. meetings into weekend when i would go home, i would call in doctors and treatment enforcement w people and advisors of all sorts up with a lly came holistic attack on this problem. olistic meaning law enforcement, treatment and revention education and the organization we came up with was unite, which stands for unlawful narcotics, investigations, treatment, education. think that is what we have to do nationally. approach.istic you can't arrest your way out of the problem, you can't treat our way out of the problem individually and you can't educate solely your way out of the problem. to do all those at the same time. that is what we're doing with greatly it's been
successful, we're seeing now a ecline in the number of prescription pill abuse deaths, problem nowt of the is heroin, so that explains seeing hy i think we're a little diminishment of pills.on on prescription i recommend this holistic approach to every corner of the country. works. in fact, at first i thought the problem was mainly a lack of law enforcement enforcement, we needed to beef up police and we did. the covered a third of state, 42 counties and put together a law enforcement team, which had 35 undercover agents, far they account for 4000 pushers they have jailed, but we
discovered along the way, not just law unforcement problem, there is no treatment available people who are innocently addicted. very is very little -- was little education going on in the schools to teach our kids of the of the drugs, but now all he things are taking place through the unite organization. we also brought in drug courts, believe in for onviolent people who are addicted, i've seen it work. of to graduation ceremony drug court and see the trauma people have gone through and now cured, so this is a holistic to be done it has at the same time. host: congressman, what did law enforcement tell you now, what did they tell you about where the drugs are coming from? whether heroin or the opioids? ongressman: well, depends who
you ask. host: on prescription drugs. congressman: practically all is coming to us through mexico. a lot of it originated in colombia. the prescription pills, of legal illitis drugs. think one of the biggest problems we've faced is when xycontin first came out, doctors and the medical community really didn't know at addictive ust how these drugs are and doctors overprescribe. you go to the dentist and he oxycontin,a bottle of in case you need it, he says. nut your hat home, medicine cabinet, never use it, t sits there waiting for those youngsters to get into that bottle and become addicted and the is where a lot of oxycontin and other prescription come s, that is how they
into the hands of our young people. do have you sman, concerns about rolling back expansion of medicaid under the ffordable care act in this repeal effort that's happening on capitol hill and what impact on addressing the opioid situation in states like yours?icts congressman: yes, i'm monitoring the medicaid impact, as we go along and try obamacare system. we'll watch it very carefully the se you're right, medicaid recipients in many need are the ones that we to focus on and the drug abuse problem. kentucky, by the way, state legislature, did something heroically, i thought, thatpassed a law that says a doctor can only prescribe a theseday prescription for
opioids. i think that will take a lot of out of the opioids and othersout of the who would abuse the -- congressman, what do you do about the demand for heroin? well, law : enforcement, that is more law enforcement problem than pills.ption we're devoting enormous sums of stop the traffic through mexico. congressman: that's a good question, extremely difficult to seal-proof border, but we're starting on it and i ope we can make some headway with it. host: congressman hal rogers, talking to us this morning, appreciate it. congressman: thank you. in newark, new
jersey, james, thank you for joining the conversation this morning. do you think about the opioid situation? caller: yeah, hi, greta, yes. i used three drugs since i was everything., drugs since i was -- wasn't fault, butmy father's everything sixed from and three days everything. brothers and sisters, i call sisters -- rs and can't s and sisters who as -- you mselves stopped.ave
really, really, really want to stop.o myself in my apartment, top lock and the bottom lock, i lock it. to be hassled by nobody. to church.rch, i go i go to my doctor, i go to my office. brothers and sisters who have jobs, you have to go to job, job, come back and apartment.lf in the host: all right, james, all right. carl, maryland, carl, what do you snng morning.good just have three questions, really. you may have covered this, i'm the first ssed portion of the show, i'm usually in there. these manufacturing pharmaceutical opioids? who are the ones that promoted marketed opioids? are the companies matching the federal llar
expens of treating opioid addictions? host: i don't know the answer, we've discussed so far f. somebody knows the answer to them, they should call in. are you getting at? caller: i'm getting at, the the problem.use i'm sure you see commercials where they list the negative to prescription drugs that take longer than the commercial for the drug they're trying to sell. if the companies that are marketing this are part of the problem, why aren't they being the solution, by providing funds to treat this medical condition? host: okay. in maryland. howard, philadelphia, good morning, howard. good morning, greta, how are you? host: doing well. this?do you think about caller: well, i have a comment and a question. y comment is that i think taking marijuana off schedule 1 pain be a great start for relief, the opioid crisis is definitely a problem. host: okay.
my question for c-span the hy they are joining mainstream media of the arrest wasserman-schultz arrest? not mentioning it. this is a massive story. i understand the opioid crisis is a problem in the united but this is news. a t: why do you think it is massive story? caller: debbie wasserman schultz staffer gets arrestd and nobody wants to talk about it? brothers, hish two whole family worked for them, democrats, accused of all kind things.erent you don't think this is a story? host: i'm asking you. i'm not saying it is not a story, i'm asking you why you massive story? caller: because debbie wasserman schultz is head of the -- was national e democratic
committee and her staffer worked for her since 2005 gets you think that is a story? host: i'm not disagreeing, howa howard, i'm just wondering why you think it is a massive story. we can share with our viewers. caller: it is a back story, all day, you are not even mentioning it. "new york times" hasn't mentioned it. "washington post," you know, gave it a little play, but -- uh-huh. caller: they work for other democrats and they fired these people. fired the brothers. host: howard, it is not a we haveit's a marathon, three hours, we're weaving in ther stories, not intentional effort not to mention it. here is nbc story, i seen it on other outlets. debbie wasserman schultz aide rrested trying to flee the country, arrested for attempting to flee the country and charged fraud.nk
atested by f.b.i. statements duluth airport on tuesday with bank fraud. fficials said he and his wife defrauded the government by ying on home equity loanpcasion. he worked for debbie wasserman schultz, former chair woman of the d.n.c. a spokesman said that mr. awan tuesday.d on awan and his wife, who worked as applied for the loan. the credit union does not homes e loans based on used for rental income, they are risky forms of collateral. federal agents interviewed unidentified people who had rental agreement with the residence.the the home listed on the application must be primary awan and his wife.
it was noted in court records, two ompany was residing at other residences. transfer fe had a wire through the credit union to pakistan, including the loan got from the federal credit union. his wife and three children left in march with $12,700 from the airport to pakistan. officials do not believe his wife plans to return to the united states. nashville, tennessee. good morning, rose, hi. caller: good morning, greta, how you? host: doing well. what do you think about the opioid situation? is why i ll, that called in, but i did want to add o this story this, is just the tip of the iceberg and my question to congress, how is it nationals at foreign have access in congress to -- in the it to congressional intelligence committee and all of that and
how much was put out there on cloud? it up le want to look google awan brothers and they can get the whole back story. my comment, two comments actually about the opioid crisis. host: okay. aller: in all of this discussion about the opioids, i up, there it brought are millions of caregivers who parents living at home with them who have -- my years old.8 she is in chronic pain, has had due to many medical issues through the years. bound and wheelchair ound kno longer walk, has no cartilage in her knees and she is on opioids. tried through pain management clinic and all different kind of specialists regimen now that controls her pain. it doesn't alleviate her pain, controls her pain so she has
ome quality of life as opposed to at home as opposed to living n a nursing home or somewhere elsewhere they would dispense medication. she's under doctor's care. to the house es very month because opioid prescription is only good for 30 days and has to have a hard copy state in order to be refilled at the pharmacy. trying to say is there are millions of caregivers elderly looking for patients or people that maybe have cancer or whatever, trying live at home without becoming a burden on our institutions and they need this in order to function and have some kind of a quality of life and i'm -- what 'm not hearing from all these discussions is the plight of were elderly patients
patients with chronic diseases, the pain itely need relief and she was tried on patches and other things, but she is on an opioid regimented schedule. my other community i wanted to is that if you have opioids in your house, keep them hidden you have different people coming in your house, neighbors or people your house to repair things or whatever, keep your hidden, don't keep them -- host: rose, i will leave it waiting for us is senator edward marquee, who is joining this morning about the opioid epidemic in the country. senator, what is it like in your
state? senator: well, our state is in an epidemic right now. in massachusetts, 2000 people died from an opioid overdose. fentanyl in had their system, so replacing prescription ing rugs like oxycontin is now fentanyl as principal reason people are overdosing. people were dying as they are dying in massachusetts, that 100,000 people who would have died in our country over 10 years, a million people dying from opioid is an epidemic of unbelievable proportions. really happening now is a historic debate over the level which the american government is going to give to families in order to provide the
treatment, which they need in order to deal with this problem. how is the state of massachusetts dealing with situation?yl senator: well, massachusetts has increased the amount of treatment. tried to put in place training and reduction of traditional percocet or prescriptions that can go to individuals, but fentanyl is from mexico through massachusetts, into new hampshire and other states, other parts of the country, into new england, but t will spread across the country inevitably and so the state of massachusetts needs needs more federal funding, it needs more treatment we're s whole debate
having about the affordable care $90 which will provide billion in opioid treatment over years is critical because the republicans are planning on putting in just a that into ion of their legislation that will pass catastrophe be a leading to death of tens of thousands or hundreds of of americans who will not receive the treatment, which they need. from governor from neighboring state of new new hampshire governor who said medicaid expansion, the affordable care the answer, that governors like himself, they eed flexibility, that the federal government should provide money, but give the governors flexibility to come up own plans. the plan is here in washington that the republicans are putting take medicaid
funding, cut it, then put it a block grant and send back to the states. -- they callly not capita, allocation of funding. a t it really is is decapitation of funding. to cannot have a solution the problem that actually has a funding.cut in the that is what the republicans are talking about. is vision without funding hallucination and that's really what the republican plan is and it will ountry actually worsen this opioid there will not be the elp for families at local level. host: senator, what do you think as the source of this opioid epidemic in the state of massachusetts? what caused this to happen? well, massachusetts
higher level ad a of heroin problems than other states. and on top of that, beginning in f.d.a. ter the authorized the sale of problem continued because we're on the track the mexican gangs use send fentanyl to our country, highernow afflicted at a rate than other parts of the country, so problem piled upon piled upon problem, which is why massachusetts has a rate rate three times the of the rest of the country. o, we know what has to happen, we know that incarcerating two million african americans in the 1990s during the crack cocaine epidemic was a mistake. an apology to that entire
african american young men. the answer is treatment, we have to get it to them. money.s if we do so, we can put in place which ds of protections, limit the harm, which is visiting hundreds of thousands families, millions of families across this country as we speak. me ask you r, let three questions that a viewer asked when he called in. who is manufacturing these opioids? promoting them, using marketing to do so? not make them match dollar for dollar the expense of abuse problem? senator: good question. the problem began with purdue pharma, receiving 1996 of the sale of
oxycontin as something which would actually not be addictive to the patient. premise, the f.d.a. accepted it, complicity there between the government and this private sector company pharma epidemic just began. o now we have it almost as something that people accept as drugs, which are addictive, opioids are sold, are prescribed without any real full appreciation for the consequences how quickly people become addicted and that led to heroin and then now it is fentanyl as the drug which is killing individuals across this country. belief, we have to find some ormula, yes, where pharmaceutical companies who become more rugs
accountable for what they have is creating a medical problem and we need funding to ensureat are going that these families get the help which they need. marquey, senator, we thank you for being part of this conversation with the viewers this morning. thank you. you're welcome. host: tom in connecticut, tom, from the senator from massachusetts, what do you think? have been using opiates most of my life. old.3 years i'm on methadone now. but the same war on trugs work in the n't '60s, didn't work in the '70s it's just getting worse. hey are say thering is no cure to opiate addiction, but there is, it is just not legal in this country.
is called ivogaine. and i would hope that some it.le would google host: okay, tom. it? have you heard about caller: i heard about it about internet s ago on the and i've been investigating it because i wanted to do it the money on't have to go to south africa or a few places it is legal to do. it in does is you take your supervised the whole time, like a two-day, you will sleep but when you wake up your opiate basically.are soaked host: okay. tom, we'll leave it there. virginia.
you are on the air. caller: thank you. my observation has to do with caller who said sometime ago that we've got a problem, not solutions and just ringing our paws over the problems. nd i agree with that to an extent, however, i believe in ine with what the earlier caller was saying prohibition all and not working at even the bipartisan crowd that morning viewed this acknowledges as much, although to the supply g that rohibition nonsense has not worked since the war on drugs was declared by richard '60s, early late 70s and we need to stop the prohibition model. addiction is still being viewed vast group of people as a why we iling and that's
get solutions. let's execute suppliers and let addicts die off or kill each other off and all of that is nonsense. there is no such thing as a supply side market, all markets drich and the only thing that is going to work with addressing the opioid crisis, which is real, is to a way to gure out reduce demand, period. host: watkins there. in montana, what do you think? caller: i can't imagine why we statistics to tell us how many of the people that are cannot pay for their own treatment. us n't know why the rest of that have never taken drugs and families, f our own why we assume that the government or someone else all of this are of treatment? so -- of : pat, look at the cost
it. we showed this earlier. total economic burden of overdose ion opioid abuse and dependence is $79 billion. otal spending for substance abuse is over $28 billion and the cost of lost productivity is billion to the economy. darline in clark county, nevada. darline, what do you think? caller: good morning. to you about lk the opiate crisis. now people act like there is something new and unusual. a little history lesson. we've known that opioids were a since the civil war, when we had people addicted to and then given heroin. it's continued since then. who are deathly opioids, i've had brain surgery, neck surgery, been permitted one
opioid. people forget opioids shut down pain receptor necessary your if you don't take the next dose, your body hurts twice wered as it did before you ever started taking it. now i thought when i was istening to representative hal rogers stand up and talk on your program, he said doctors weren't properly educated and didn't understand these drugs were addictive. known the drugs were addictive for a very, very, very long time. right, darline's thoughts there. pat in houston, texas, welcome it's your ersation, turn. caller: yes. when politicians are just asking for more money for their state, i just think that throwing money is not going to take care of anything, government.from the we asked them to take care of that get m, people addicted, many reasons they get to that point. at a local look
level because when the involved, it is a opportunity for other money, i don'tke -- k we're identify iing host: pat, do you think health cost nce should cover the of treatment? caller: you know, i think we now now expensive it is, i think if we come up with local help, the cost will be a lot lower than if we ask the government to come in and do it. new okay, andrew, keen, hampshire. hi, andrew. caller: hi. wanted to ask something related to medicaid, with repeal and replace bill going on. uh-huh. caller: i wondering what it would take to get to a place we of folks on both aisles work on trying to fix the trying place rather than
to get rid of it? democrats are on oard with that and some republicans are wanting to offer want deas, a lot of them to get rid of it, especially heard abouthow i've a lot of -- opioid epidemic is programs.e medicaid host: medicaid expansion, uh-huh. caller: yeah. encourage you to listen to the debate today on c-span 2, when the senate returns this morning and they continue debate 10 hours ave about left in this debate before they being on to what is called vote-a-rama, open peep kel offers, amendments. democrats, however, said they will not be offering any they want to see what the leadership of the republican party has in mind for this final package.
what will be ultimately what the senators vote on. to tune in to c-span 2, live ga vel to ga vel what is happening in the senate. ron in san diego, good morning, air.re on the caller: yeah. can you hear me? host: we can. go ahead. caller: okay, yeah. i was calling in because i have with the opioids, myself. was injured on my job for 30 years they workd and prescribed insurance r because would not continue giving me the supposed to y were be giving me. one of the biggest problems inot heard addressed was the insurance not being held responsible to carry out their part of the situation. had to go to the doctor, be prescribed opioids and continue take them until the insurance began to do what they are as osed to do as far
treatment is concerned and pain management, which they don't do agreements and they never probably do. host: okay. caller: that is an issue i would senators, the governors to confront insurance companies that don't -- insurance process. caller: it is their responsibility. host: ron in san diego. louisville, kentucky. were you watching when we talked hal rogers from your state? caller: you know what, i didn't that, i don't want to speak to that because i didn't hear it. host: what is the situation like there? caller: well, the situation here s what i'm hearing is that the emt professionals and the and many,room doctors the times they are seeing same overdose addicts coming in, being brought into the emergency revived.ng the emt's are responding to 911
and they're seeing many, many of the same persons who overdosed again and again. y question is, is what is happening here, is that when they are responding to see many overdoses, you know, people feel peopleion and are saying can't help, they are drug addicts, what i would like to emt's and the emergency room doctors are attending to these people who overdosed over and over again, and your father or your child or husband has been seriously injured or they're having a heart attack or whatever is going on and these people can't get to their aid reviving an are addict for the third or fourth time, you know, i'm thinking a people's minds will be changed about compassion toward he people overdosing over and over again when they're using other ical services that
people cannot have access to. ost: heard your point, richard in rotunda west, florida. share your thoughts. yes, this crisis reminds me of what we went through with tobacco companies, big pharma puts out these pills. the tobacco people said the thing they like best about penny and they sold them for $1 and they were addictive. these pills, the oxy million is lls, $10 the amount big pharma brought in. if you look at them, they drug and then they of mostly fleet sharply dressed women, you see them in the doctor's office time.ing around noon sharply dressed, wearing high heels and tight dresses and look and they go in
there and they sell this stuff doctors. the doctors in turn turn it over to the patients and here is the oxycodone.t the if you take, it kills the pain, kills the pain. not only the pain you are suffering from whatever ailment, but all the pain in your body disappears. your ailment heals and you stop taking it, all these everyday pains that you live with and accept and don't come back and you are in intense pain. are not doing us any good and only doing what now, killing.g went her thing is my wife up the scale from percocet to oxycodne to fentanyl to morphine because of her operations and
seen this woman say, i'm sick of this, i'm not going to this anymore. she said this with morphine and sick because ely she tried to stop it. she said -- i said, why don't cutting it in half and see if the sickness goes away, she did. and she ess went away began to cut and reduce and cut and reduce until today she takes aceteminophine. host: bill in denver, colorado, we'll get your thoughts in. caller: good morning. 'm calling about is kickbacks that doctors get from drug compani companies. is a website that actual your doctor's t name and they can show you all kickbacks that those doctors are getting and i was hoping i relay that website.
host: go ahead, bill. caller: okay. pro, p-r-o. publica.org. propublica, something we've referenced, as well. sherry in iowa, you're next. hi.er: host: good morning, sara, you're on the air. caller: thank you. say, my husband and i got our car insurance and i t was way elevated called to ask them why, we aven't had any accidents or issues and we're both over 65. not you , well, it's guys having the problems, it's other drivers is why the increase.had to health care,mes to on t.v. yesterday, they talked about the skinny bill and tell guys, this is really you, everybody,
we all need to look at what they're thinking about passing and need to be calling our congressmen. should be you watching c-span 2 this morning, ap et the free c-span radio p, follow along with what is appening on c-span and c-span 2, listen to the debate there. host: george in bernie, good morning, george. caller: good morning to you. had a m calling about, i terrible accident 15 years ago, i was on opiates for a long time. california, where we have medical marijuana. i didn't want to use it because of it.ing high part nowadays, they have discovered int marijuana, it is not thc marijuana that is active ingredient that helps and they ave strains of marijuana that have basically no thc and it has tremendously and statistics are easily found the states with medical marijuana 23% lower addiction rate it.n states without
host: where did you read that? that study? caller: it's been on msnbc and c-span -- i mean, cnn, a number times. host: okay, just for others who may want to look it up. debbie in florida. debbie, did i pronounce the town right? in florida, yes. host: good morning, go ahead. well, looking at the cost of billions of dollars of taking care of opioid addiction, where could that come from? just like tobacco company his to was due court battle. is in ce that money is the drug companies cht the pharmaceutical companies who it.duce this and push i'm just going to say, i have an used to live next to a drug company representative
and those guys, nevermind the whole company, ade so much money that if they wanted to take off, they could entire year, the sales reps that push things. so the drug companies have dollars, they make billions everyday and they could fund, if they o had to fund rehabilitation, they ight push it less and they might come up with, you know, ssistance that is less addictive. host: okay, aquanetanvirginia. morning.ood orthopedic, we don't prescribe a lot of opiate. do, we tell them, it hould be taken, you only take it if you are in dire pain. i let them know that once you brings out that, it receptors for pain in your brain. that ve certain receptors
help you deal with pain, once you bring those out, they end up stronger drugs. so we try not to prescribe a lot of that. then i tell patients going to pain clinics, let them know that present another problem. the pain clinics, ramp them up n different drugs and then pretty soon, when the patients start almost seeming like a drug they drop them from their offices and then that is lies.the problem and as far as young people with addiction, i'm surprised people are sitting around not worried about our generation because this is the next generation. i think the problem is with the are they are so stressed out. i had a son before that was addicted. went to classes, that is what most young people said, stressed out.ally host: okay. aquaneta, i will leave it there
in sam in harn hornsby, carolina. sam -- pain : prescription medication abuses can be tied in irectly with the a.c.a. and medicaid expansion, it made it asier for people to go to the doctor, get prescriptions and sell them. in the tail business early 1990s, same people come in pills. to sell pain people on medicaid, got prescription and free drugs and money selling them. as hydrocodone, if you are on it, cuwean yourself off of it. 16 years for 15 or because i broke my back in 1985, hicrocodone,ut the mast l not hurt you as as -- damage your liver. host: sam, the houseab