On Monday, the president of the American Nurses Association, the nation’s largest nurses’ union, called on Congress to create a commission to study the crisis and make recommendations on how to address it.
The president of ANA, Joanne Peters, said her organization would be interested in working with lawmakers to create such a panel, but added that it’s important to be clear about what the commission would be looking at.
“What we would like to see is an honest assessment of the issue, a public debate about what’s going on,” she told reporters on Monday.
“We have an issue here that’s so urgent and so dangerous that it should be looked at and addressed in a bipartisan way.”
The ANA said in a statement on Monday that the opioid crisis is “one of the most urgent public health crises facing our nation and the country.”
“As our nation’s leading nurses’ organization, we cannot afford to be distracted by what politicians say and what we think,” the statement said.
“A major public health problem, the opioid epidemic, has become the most consequential challenge to our nation.”
President Trump’s administration has proposed a $1.5 trillion spending plan that would spend an additional $1 billion for prevention and treatment programs over the next five years.
The White House also wants to create an emergency fund that would provide $2 billion for substance abuse treatment and other treatment.
The plan also would allow for an increase in the federal budget for the Veterans Administration.