Chuck Schumer: Feds Playing Yo-Yo With Funds To Fight Opioid Crisis

Chuck Schumer: Feds Playing Yo-Yo With Funds To Fight Opioid Crisis

By Beth Leipholtz 08/02/18

Senator Schumer is pushing for the CDC to reconsider its decision to pull anti-opioid funding from New York City.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
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Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is unhappy with a recent decision from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Schumer says that last year, he added $350 million to a budget designed for the CDC to allocate funding to large cities including New York City, Philadelphia and Houston, Pix 11 reports.

However, Schumer said, that funding was suddenly taken away with no reason provided.

“Even more galling, New York City had already allocated this money,” Schumer said. “The CDC already said we’re going to send you this money.”

According to the New York Daily Newsrather than be allocated to metropolitan areas, CDC officials say that a new federal policy dictates that the funds will be distributed between state offices.

This, Schumer says, will set up cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles to get less funding than initially thought. 

“There is simply no good reason for the feds to play yo-yo with critical federal funds that New York needs to beat back and address the opioid epidemic,” Schumer said in a statement. “By playing this dangerous and irresponsible game with these dollars, the federal government is setting an aberrant precedent and making a big mistake all at the same time.”

Schumer added that the city already had plans for the funding.

Pix 11 reports that New York City planned to use the federal funding for various programs, including one in which paramedics from the city's fire department leave the opioid antidote, naloxone, in the homes of those with a history of substance use.

Schumer says he plans to fight the funding takeaway, which he claims will affect the state as a whole.

“Because when the city doesn’t get this money, the state has less money to go around,” he said. “New York City will have to now fight for state money, and that’ll hurt Long Island, hurt Westchester and frankly the whole state.”

In a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield, Schumer pushed for the organization to reconsider. 

“As some of the nation’s largest localities, which are facing some of the harshest impacts from the current addiction and overdose crisis, it is imperative that CDC provide fair funding allocation mechanisms that effectively address public health needs,” he wrote.

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

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