Vowing to hold to account the billionaire family whose pharmaceutical company fueled the opioid epidemic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping plan to help end the crisis which kills tens of thousands of Americans per year.
The Democratic presidential candidate detailed the plan in a Medium post, as she has with her other policy proposals, but made it clear that she aims to pass the legislation “immediately” rather than waiting for a potential presidential term.
The plan, known as the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, would make $100 billion in federal funds available to state and local governments as well as non-profit groups which provide prevention, treatment, and harm reduction services.
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Like a number of Warren’s other plans, the senator said the CARE Act would be funded by her proposed Ultra-Millionaires Tax, under which the assets of families with more than $50 million would be taxed at two percent annually, raising $2.75 trillion over a decade.
By taxing the richest Americans, Warren plans to hold the Sacklers—the family which owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of one of the most widely-prescribed opioids—accountable for fueling a crisis which has killed 685,000 Americans.
“This crisis has been driven by greed, pure and simple,” Warren wrote. “It’s about money and power in America — who has it, and who doesn’t. And it’s about who faces accountability in America — and who doesn’t.”
“Rep. Cummings and Sen. Warren have worked hand in hand with people directly affected by the crisis to design this legislation. These voices are and will continue to be invaluable in bringing about an end to the opioid crisis.” —Jennifer Flynn Walker, Center for Popular DemocracyThe package would include $2.7 billion for counties and cities that have been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic, more than $1 billion to fund research and training for medical professionals, and $500 million to expand access to naloxone, a drug which can reverse an opioid overdose.
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