POLITICO: Senator Joe Biden’s ‘War on Drugs’ SUPERCHARGED America’s Opioid Crisis
In a bombshell report by the left leaning POLITICO, the drug policies that Democrat Presidential hopeful Joe Biden initiated as a Senator have been discovered to have been a catalyst that “supercharged” today’s opioid crisis. His policies also exasperated racial disparities in sentencing through his ‘solutions.’ The findings come in extensive report by Zachary Siegel on Thursday in Politico.
Siegel documented Biden’s four decades in the senate and his leading role in the “War on Drugs”, concluding that the consequences have been devastating.
Fascinating is that Biden seems to acknowledge some of his failure. He has little choice, Biden wrote the bulk of the drug legislation that occurred in the 1980s and ’90s.
“I got stuck with, because I was chairman of the [Senate] Judiciary Committee, writing most of the drug legislation that occurred in [the 1980s and ’90s],” Biden said while speaking at the University of Pennsylvania on April 11 as part of a panel on the opioid crisis. “Big mistake was us buying into the idea that crack cocaine was different than powdered cocaine and having [different] penalties.”
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It should be a lesson to Biden that the Federal Government cannot micromanage, and that law enforcement protocol should be left up to the local authorities.
Biden literally exasperated racial disparities in sentencing worse by trying to micromanage punitive efforts for the use of crack.
As well, at the center of the catastrophe is the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, known as the “crack-house statute,” which Biden co-sponsored.
The reality of Biden’s long career as a drug warrior, however, suggests something different: That he didn’t get “stuck with” writing drug legislation; he chose to make it a priority of his 36-year tenure in the Senate. In the War on Drugs, Biden was the “tough on crime” face of the Democratic Party, used his legislative skills to forge a bipartisan consensus for severe anti-drug legislation and specifically wrote or sponsored several laws that public health experts believe have, over the course of the opioid crisis, made it far deadlier than it has to be.
Since the late 1990s, more than 700,000 Americans have died from drug overdoses, and for each of the past four years, more Americans have died from drug overdoses than were killed in the wars in Vietnam and Iraq combined. Unless America drastically changes course, an estimated 500,000 more people are expected to die from an overdose in the next decade. Because of overdose deaths, America’s life expectancy has fallen for the past three years—which, as economists have noted, is unusual for a country that isn’t at war.
ObamaCare has also significantly contributed to the nation’s opioid crisis, something a recent Senate report confirms.
The Senate report notes that those with a Medicaid card can get prescriptions for opioids, such as oxycodone, for as little as $1 for up to 240 pills. Those pills, however, can be sold on the street for up to $4,000.
That has created a powerful incentive for millions to get prescriptions and end up either getting addicted themselves or selling the pills on the black market. By vastly expanding Medicaid, ObamaCare contributed significantly to this problem, the Senate report found.
The Senate report find several pieces of evidence to support the connection between ObamaCare’s expansion and the opioid epidemic.
- The number of criminal Medicaid drug fraud cases was 55% higher in the four years after the ObamaCare expansion went into effect, compared with the four years before the expansion.
- More than 80% of the Medicaid-opioid cases turned up by investigators were in Medicaid expansion states.
- Drug overdose death rates are rising “nearly twice as fast in expansion states as non-expansion states,” the report finds.
As well, opioid overdose rates turned upward in 2014 which is the year of the ObamaCare expansion. The data also show that of the 15 states with the highest overdose rates in 2015, all but two were Medicaid expansion states.
Of the 15 states with the lowest overdose rates, eight had not expanded Medicaid.
Biden has quite the obstacle course ahead of him on the campaign trail.
Keep the popcorn coming!