Clinton backs Obama’s Islamic State strategy in Democratic debate

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Democratic Presidential Candidates Offer No New Policy Initiatives To Address Opioid Epidemic.

Meeting for the third time, Democratic candidates expressed their concerns over the ever-growing opioid crisis in the United States during Saturday night’s presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.Coverage of the Saturday night Democratic debate has focused on Bernie Sanders’ apology to Hillary Clinton for his staff’s poor judgment in viewing her campaign’s proprietary data. That isn’t to say the campaigns haven’t traded their respective shots—they have, even if they haven’t taken it to the same level as some GOPers.

This faux nomination fight is about coronating Hillary Clinton, and the last thing Democrats want is voters watching if the other candidates expose her weaknesses. With drug overdose deaths hitting record numbers in 2014, the nation’s opioid epidemic stimulated the conversation for a total of five minutes — such a small amount of time dedicated to a rising health risk among Americans throughout the land. In New Hampshire, 76 percent of Sanders supporters say they “generally like” what Clinton is saying in the campaign, but they just like Sanders more. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, the two competitors on stage with the former first lady, couldn’t have been more solicitous if they were Ted Cruz praising Donald Trump.

And when the debate went to a long commercial break Clinton lost out to Lis Smith, the caffeine-guzzling deputy campaign manager for former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who beat her to the restroom. During the debate, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called out the pharmaceutical industry and clinicians who are overprescribing opioids, challenging them to “start getting their act together.” He failed to outline his own detailed plan to tackle opioid addiction. “We cannot have this huge number of opiates out there, throughout this country, where young people are taking them, getting hooked, and then going to heroin,” he continued.

A top Clinton staffer who was strategically posted outside the bathroom (presumably to avoid these kinds of situations) gave Smith a verbal OK to make a quick pit stop, according to one person familiar with the ladies’ line. Noah Aleshire, a policy analyst with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), told Forbes in an interview that the dramatic growth in heroin-related overdoses can be attributed to the increase in misuse and dependence of prescription opioid pain relievers. “The increased availability of heroin, combined with its relatively low price (compared to prescription opioids) and high purity appear to be additional drivers of the upward trend in heroin use and overdose.” For Sanders, those Americans addicted to drugs aren’t criminals; they’re suffering from a disease. “That means, radically changing the way we deal with mental health and mental issues,” he noted. Seventy-seven percent said that Sanders’ level of criticism of Clinton was “about right;” 81 percent thought Clinton’s level of criticism toward Sanders was appropriate. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill declined to comment for the story, but said there wasn’t a security reason preventing the former secretary of state from sharing a bathroom.

This leaves him saying things like “the President had us on the right course” in the war against Islamic State, but “we have to increase the battle tempo, we have to bring a modern way of getting things done.” General O’Malley reporting for duty. President Obama’s drug control priorities for the 2016 fiscal year include reducing prescription drug and heroin abuse by allocating additional funding to states with prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), expanding and improving treatment for addicts, and spearheading efforts to make naloxone more readily available to first responders. More recently, the White House announced a new interactive strategy aimed to promote best practices and evidence-based initiatives designed to prevent and treat opioid abuse, misuse and overdose: community-based forums.

Clinton was typically methodical and uninspiring, sticking close to President Obama’s skirts while trying to create some space where his policies are unpopular. Asked about the soaring cost of premiums and deductibles under ObamaCare, she said, “Well, I would certainly build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act and work to fix some of the glitches that you just referenced.” Glitches? Her only solutions are to double down on government-mandated price controls and offer a new tax credit, but she’s admitting that the law will be changed in 2017 no matter who wins the election.

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