Shaheen & Hassan Respond to Trump Administration's Decision to Not Prioritize Hardest-Hit States, Including NH, for Opioid Funding

October 30, 2017

**The week after the Trump administration announced a public health emergency, the Department of Health and Human Services has indicated it will not change the funding formula that shortchanges New Hampshire’s opioid response efforts**

 

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) issued the following statements after the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would not revise the state formula for determining Opioid State Targeted Response grants, which were included in the 21st Century Cures legislation Congress passed last year. This formula underfunds response efforts in New Hampshire and other hard-hit states. For FY2018, the Department will continue to consider state population size, rather than rate of overdose death, as a significant factor in determining funding.

“This is a tremendously disappointing decision,” said Shaheen. “New Hampshire has the second highest opioid overdose death rate in the country and is experiencing the worst public health crisis in its history. This Administration had an opportunity to prioritize communities that are most desperate for resources. In dozens of visits to New Hampshire during the campaign, President Trump promised significant support to end this epidemic, and we’re still waiting for meaningful follow through. I strongly urge President Trump and his administration to reconsider this decision, and begin working with Congress to provide additional resources to New Hampshire and other areas of the country that are most affected by this epidemic. Without a significant investment this epidemic will continue to expand and take lives at ever-alarming rates.”   

“People in New Hampshire are dying every day from the opioid crisis, and this harmful decision from the Trump Administration will hurt states like New Hampshire with the greatest need for more resources to strengthen treatment, prevention, and recovery services,” Hassan said. “This announcement undermines the President’s stated commitment throughout the presidential campaign and as recently as last week to helping states that have been hardest hit by this crisis. It defies all logic that this flawed formula will not be changed even though New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of overdose deaths and yet our state was eligible for only $3 million of the $500 million in funding available for Fiscal Year 2017. The Trump Administration today has truly let down the people of New Hampshire and undermined our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic.”