Marsha Blackburn is All Rhetoric, No Results on Tennessee’s Opioid Crisis

Blackburn raked in $800,000 from the dirtiest players in Big Pharma —
then authored legislation to give them a break

 

“Rep. Blackburn’s cynical political games and empty election-year promises are a slap in the face to Americans suffering from the opioid crisis,” said American Bridge spokesperson Amelia Penniman. “Tennesseans will see right through this — and demand a Senator who stands with them, not with Big Pharma.”

The Tennessean: We deserve answers from Marsha Blackburn on opioids

By Dudley Taylor | July 12, 2018

  • This summer, “House committees tossed out 90 bills that members of Congress – led by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn — then touted in a stream of press releases as the silver-bullet remedies for American families ravaged by opioid addiction.”
  • “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to politics in an election year. The stark reality is that Blackburn has led a large group of our elected officials in Washington that are bought and paid for by the opioid industry.”
  • Blackburn has raked in almost $800,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma for her Congressional career. In return, she passed legislation in 2016 that defanged the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) by stripping it of its authority to freeze suspicious opioid shipments.”
  • “Now that Blackburn is asking us to promote her to the United States Senate, she uses the legislative process to push around bills that nibble at the edges of the opioid epidemic and do nothing to address the real problem – all so she can tell voters that she’s doing something to fix a problem that she helped create in the first place.”
  • “The Tennessee Department of Health reports that in the 33 counties of East Tennessee, there were at least 497 opioid-related deaths in 2016. Nine East Tennessee counties reported a 100 percent or larger increase in opioid-related drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016.”
  • “Thirty-one East Tennessee counties had opioid-prescribing rates above the national average — 12 of these counties had prescription rates that were double the national average.”
  • Blackburn continues to rake in the campaign cash from the very companies that are flooding communities from Greenville to Johnson City with opioids.”
  • “The three primary bad actors in the opioid problem are the three largest distributors of opioids – McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen. For her campaign for the Senate, Blackburn has taken $17,500 from Cardinal Health and $15,000 from McKesson.When asked by the USA Today Network if she would return these contributions, Blackburn replied, ‘That is absolutely absurd.’”
  • “Eleven days prior to that – on October 16, 2017 – Blackburn promised the Tennessean that she would ‘immediately address’ any problems created by her legislation. As of this writing, 245 days have passed and Blackburn has done nothing except pass window-dressing bills out of committees and issue press releases claiming that everything has been resolved.”
  • All we get from Congresswoman Blackburn are political games and empty rhetoric. We deserve much better.”

Read the full article here.