Wednesday, March 29, 2017

President Trump, Gov. Abbott and the 'Disposables'

Might a Trump Administration pivot on the opiod crisis spur Gov. Greg Abbott to change his position on Texas' Good Samaritan legislation, which he vetoed in 2015?  NBC-News reported this morning that:
President Donald Trump is expected to launch a commission Wednesday to address the nation's growing opioid epidemic, according to sources familiar with the planning. Trump will sign an executive order setting up the commission, which will be tasked with outlining recommendations and federal resources to tackle the drug addiction that kills an estimated 78 people a day. 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will serve as chairman of the commission at the president's request. 
"The opioid initiative is one that's incredibly important to every family in every corner of this country," Christie said Wednesday on TODAY from outside the White House. 
He said his state is grappling with a rise in the rate of drug overdose deaths, which have surpassed murders and automobile accidents. (Ed. note: True for Texas, too.)
"What we need to come to grips with is addiction is a disease and no life is disposable. We can help people by giving them appropriate treatment," Christie added.
N.b. the "no life is disposable" line. Now contrast that with Gov. Abbott's position on a Good Samaritan law in Texas. He vetoed the legislation in 2015, claiming he was worried about condoning drug use if people gained immunity over and over. The authors have offered to change the bill to allow the immunity from prosecution to be used only once, but now the Governor has moved the goalposts, insisting that the bill only apply to Texans under 21 years old who have never been arrested for anything (not convicted, arrested).

So if someone overdoses and they don't meet those criteria - if they've ever been arrested or if they're 21 or older - to Gov. Abbot their life is "disposable," to use Gov. Christie's term. Or at least that's the implication of the policy position Abbott's office has taken. Because of their age or their past bad acts, however minor, those people apparently deserve to die. 

Overdoses are statistically a greater contributor to "American carnage" than violent killers. In Texas, the number of overdose deaths in 2015 nearly doubled the statewide murder total. So even if the Good Samaritan bill had only a small impact, it could save many lives. Perhaps this news of a treatment-centered Trumpian opiod agenda will re-frame the question politically and cause Governor Abbott to reconsider which Texans he considers disposable. 

Go here if you'd like to send a message to Gov. Abbott asking him to support Texas' Good Samaritan legislation.


He's Innocent said...

So..... will EMS be required to first run that unconscious person through the system in order to find out if they've been arrested before they are giving the life saving naloxone? They'll have to also "card" the critically endangered person to check to see if they are first under 21.

How does this square with Abbott's stance on every pregnancy is a valuable life worthy of birth and glory? Oh wait, once born, you do not matter.

Next, Abbott will move the goalposts to exclude young women who've terminated a pregnancy or takes birth control, because loose morals and all makes her a "Disposable" right?

SMDH - I despise this state for the callous way it treats its citizens.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Luckily, the naloxone piece of this got passed last session, so EMS could administer that either way. The question is whether EMS gets called if people fear they'll be sent to prison if they call. said...

Gov. Abbott's complete disregard for people who are fighting a disease and his willingness to write off so many is telling & a stain on Texas. We should be ashamed of ourselves and hold Abbott accountable.

Anonymous said...

Give this President a break! He has not lied to us and is putting America first. Stand up and get on President Trumps side unless you have already been corrupted by the previous lying administrations. Stop complaining about draining the swamp, when that is where you go swimming. Now is the time for true Americans!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@1:22, work on your reading comprehension. This post agrees with the Trump/Christie "no life is disposable" position, and disagrees with Abbott, whose stance on the Good Samaritan does not embrace those pro-life values.