The front page, very top of the page of Monday’s Finger Lakes Times screams: “Reed tackles the opioid epidemic”. The article tells of Rep. Tom Reed with local law inforcement officers in Bath, explaining the “Help Ensure Lives are Protected (HELP) Act”, which he sponsored. They quoted Reed saying:
“The HELP Act will give the law enforcement another tool in their tool box to put a stop nto this problem.”
In reality the HELP Act gives prosecutors move severe pentalities, including life in porison or even the death penalty, to use for a person who sells or gives drugs if there is an overdose involved. You can read the entire bill (four pages) here.
Reed also said:
“This is only one piece of the puzzle. We have to have s multi-pronged approach to dealing with this issue to assist those suffering helplessly from addiction. This is why I supported the 21st Century Cures, which provided one a billion dollas of federal grants and funding for CARA (the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act) in order to assist states and local commnities through prevention and treatment services to combat this tragedy head on.”
It irks me that newspapers will print Reed’s claims without looking into his them. I understand about their lack of resources to do investigation reporting, but I guess that is what “reporting” means. Now thousands of people will see the headline and they will get a false vision our Congressman. So I wrote the following letter.
I am afraid that Rep. Reed’s attempt to “tackle the opioid epidemic” (FLTimes 8/28/17) is another poor attempt to promote that he cares for the people of the NY 23rd Congressional District. Hostory shows that there is little chance that Reed’s HELP Act will become law.
First, according to govtrack.us, Rep. Reed has sponsored 128bills since he joined Congress in 2010. More than 97% of them did not make it through the committee process, including the first HELP Act of 2016. His only three bills that became law are two bills that named Post Offices for fallen military from our district, and the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforceent Act of 2015.
Second, Reed is infamous for having his staff write Bills which promote wonderful benefits that have no chance of becoming law. For example, his Credit for Caring Acts (2016 & 2017), the Fire Springler Incentive Acts (2013, 2015 and 2017) and the Mortgage Forgiveness Acts (2013, 2014 & 2015) are only a few that sound great, but have neve made it through republican chaired committees with republican majorities.
In the article, Rep. Reed mentioned that he supported the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. I am glad since 296 and 403 House members respectvely voted to approve them.
His HELP Act will help him get re-elected more than it will help the constiutents of the NY 23.
You may have noticed that I didn’t discuss the content of his HELP Act. That may be for another day.
Earlier articles on similar topics:
Opioid Crisis-Trump, Gallant, Reed
A look at Rep. Reed’s proposed bills
Tom claims and apparently gets credit for the same failed bill year after year.
While the opiod crisis is bad, it sheds light on another crisis–gun deaths. Gun deaths deaths are about 50% higher than opiod deaths, yet the opiod crisis remains the “crisis du jour” among Republican congressional representatives. The CDC can study the opiod crisis and make recommendations, but regulations and laws make it impossible for the CDC to study gun violence. It is hypocracy for Reed–or any politician–to claim concern for one crisis while working hard to minimize another crisis. Imagine a bizarro world where politicians fought for the rights of their constituents to obtain opiods without a perscription, to sell opiods at drug shows without a background check, or opposed any regulations to limit the strength of opiods. When Reed pushes his “crisis du jour,” let him know about the gun crisis. Sensible gun regulations are NOT anathema to the Second Amendment.
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Tom, thanks for sharing your insight on connecting these two crises and reminding us of Reed’s actions on both issues.
Pain pills including opioids have legitimate uses. I am concerned that attempts to link all use with blackmarket activities will make it more difficult for manufacturers, physicians, and those who need them.
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