The Trump administration is set to unveil a slew of initiatives this week at its first trip to the European Union since President Donald Trump’s election victory in November.
The White House is expected to announce the hiring of about 50 new federal employees as part of the effort to address the nation’s opioid crisis, including about a dozen new public health workers, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal aid to states, municipalities and cities, according to people familiar with the plans.
Those employees, known as “rehabilitators,” will help provide access to treatment, support for victims of sexual abuse, job training and job placement, among other things, these people said.
In addition, the White House has set aside $200 million to support the implementation of a sweeping overhaul of the nations Medicaid program, which provides coverage to about 80 million people.
The announcement could come as soon as Monday, as the Trump administration will likely announce a final list of recipients of federal funding to cover more than $3 trillion in Medicaid spending in coming years.
The decision to make the announcement Monday comes just days after Trump signed an executive order aimed at addressing the opioid crisis in the United States.
The executive order, which is expected for release as soon the new year, calls for the federal government to spend $1 trillion on opioid treatment, addiction prevention and mental health services, and the creation of a task force to coordinate those efforts.
In the first days of his presidency, Trump has made opioid-related policy a centerpiece of his campaign, but the administration has been slow to enact its goals, according, to a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The administration has made no decisions on whether to expand Medicaid coverage for people in need of treatment and the number of health workers it plans to hire, said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations.
“The administration has not done the homework,” Cole said, adding that it is time for the administration to take concrete action to address opioid addiction.
The administration’s first two budget proposals for fiscal year 2019 include proposals to increase Medicaid funding by $8 billion and $13 billion, respectively, to provide opioid-treatment assistance to low-income and uninsured Americans.
The Trump budget would increase the total amount of opioid-aid funding to $40 billion, which would bring the total federal spending on the issue to $73 billion.
Ahead of the Budget Committee’s markup of the Trump-era budget proposal, Rep. Ted Poe (R, Texas) suggested that the administration should make more progress in implementing its goals.
“If we are going to fix the opioid problem, then the first thing we have to do is start investing in the people who need the help most,” Poe said in an interview with The Hill.
“If we’re going to do that, then we have got to be realistic about what the resources are going into it.”
While Poe and other Democrats have argued that Trump’s budget would not accomplish the federal goal of treating all Americans who use opioids, they also worry that the president has not been aggressive enough to curb the opioid epidemic.
The Trump administration, which has been accused of being slow to implement its policies on opioid abuse, is expected this week to announce a series of programs to help states and cities recover from the crisis.
The plan includes the hiring and training of a dozen federal rehabilitators, including two new public-health nurses, according a White House official.
A task force will be established to coordinate the federal response to the opioid issue, including training state and local officials on how to implement the President’s proposed federal opioid budget, the official said.
The plan also calls for a national “public health infrastructure fund” to be established, which will be used to provide grants and financial support to help address the opioid burden.
It would be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the senior official said, noting that the White the fund is intended to be used for services and equipment that are needed for treatment.
The budget proposal would also provide $3 billion for the implementation and enforcement of federal laws prohibiting the distribution of opioid painkillers, including a requirement for manufacturers of painkillers to register with the DEA.
The money would go toward funding opioid treatment centers, as it has in the past.
Trump also will sign an executive action that will give states the option of implementing new Medicaid rules on the availability of opioid medication and other treatment, according an administration official.
The official said that the policy will likely be announced Monday.
The health and human services secretary, Tom Price, is also expected to hold a news conference at the White Houses West Wing on Monday, where he will talk about the administration’s efforts to address addiction and provide more funding for treatment, as previously reported by The Washington Post.