Trump Administration pledges help with opioid epidemic

Governor LePage hosts Secretary Price

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Trump Administration  says it will be providing more help to Maine and other states to fight opioid drug addiction.

On Wednesday, Trump‘s Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Tom Price, and Presidential Advisor Kellyanne Conway met with Governor LePage and people on the front lines of Maine's addiction fight.

The hour-long meeting was part of Secretary Price's “listening tour” of states to come up with ideas for national policy to dead with opioid addiction. The meeting included several representatives from law enforcement, Maine’s chief justice, hospital leaders, drug treatment providers and recovering addicts.

Price and Conway said they were there to "listen." They said new federal policies will include funding to help states with their own efforts to combat the addiction crisis.\

"The President has made combating drug addiction and the opioid crisis...he has made this a centerpiece of his administration," said Conway.

Price told reporters after the meeting that the Trump Administration is committed to providing more resources to help states battle addiction. He said the new Republican health care plan should not harm funding for addiction recovery, or other existing medical needs.

"Making sure they have access to the kind of coverage and care they need is absolutely essential. And that’s our goal. Is to make certain nobody falls thru the cracks, not pulling the rug out from anybody," Price said.

There are clearly many who disagree. While Price, Conway and Gov. LePage talked with reporters, chants from women's' activist groups could be heard outside the room.

Leaders of the group questioned proposals from both the LePage Administration and the White House they said would hurt addiction treatment and other health care needs.

The Maine visit was one of two on the day's listening tour. Price and Conway headed to New Hampshire for a similar gathering. Both told reporters in Maine the White House will be looking to the state's for best practices that can be copied across the country.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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