New Hampshire’s opioid epidemic is indeed terrible, with the state leading the country in per capita fentanyl deaths.
And it’s true that without an income tax or a sales tax, state funding has been scarce. But in combating this crisis, we are also victims of a rudderless federal drug policy, exemplified by President Trump’s empty exercise of declaring a “national health emergency” without accompanying funds or competent leadership.
This is a nationwide epidemic. Without federal funding, all states will take from other state priorities to address what is only rhetorically a federal emergency.
Some New Hampshire legislators recently proposed dedicating 10 percent of the state’s rainy day fund, or $10 million, to fight the crisis.
That may not seem like much money, but it’s more than three times the additional Medicaid funding, both state and federal, provided to more than 4,100 nursing home residents this year. Scarce resources for that care, and other programs, will inevitably be robbed if federal inaction persists.