Fox is Silent as House Debates Healthcare Bill and AGs Around the Country Insist on Adequate Drug Treatment Funding
Helena – Even as Attorney General Tim Fox announced last week that his office would begin to start to develop a new plan that won’t be completed until he is six years into his time in office to address drug abuse in the state of Montana, he has missed an opportunity to step up and speak out against potential cuts to drug treatment.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act, which is currently being debated in the House, could be devastating in combating the ongoing meth, opioid, painkiller, and heroin epidemic in Montana and around the country. The Affordable Care Act allows for significant and critical assistance for drug treatment, and requires Medicaid and private plans to cover certain drug treatment.
The initial AHCA plan would have cut federal funding for drug treatment by an estimated $5.5 billion. Its changes to a block grant for Medicaid could further endanger $7.9 billion in funding for drug treatment.
And while more than 20 Attorneys General around the country signed a letter to Congress and the President last week urging them to adequately fund drug treatment in any replacement plan, Fox didn’t sign on.
While he’s eager to weigh in when federal issues suit him, Fox – who was in DC last week during the final week of session for the state legislature – was also silent about the possibility of a government shutdown, which would’ve impacted the ability of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to monitor grants and contracts from its department.
“Tim Fox continues to raise questions about whether he is out to score political points for himself or looking out for the well-being of Montanans,” said Chris Meagher, spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party. “Even though 20 of his colleagues have expressed concern about adequately funding drug treatment, it’s troubling that Tim Fox has been silent.”