Printed in the Courier 11-12-17
Rep. Greg Walden is at it again. First, he complimented President Trump on his financially impotent “step in the right direction” when he declared opioid abuse a “national public health emergency.” It provided only $57,000 of Health and Human Services re-allocated money toward a just-say-no ad campaign. Walden said “more people died in Oregon last year from overdoses than from car accidents,” enabling Trump’s paltry declaration. Thanks a lot — we already know opioid abuse is a huge problem — people are dying. We need funding, not empty words to fight the problem.
Next, he supported for the fifth time a forest management bill that is disguised as “reducing the risk of forest fires.” In fact, it just cuts regulations to benefit the timber industry that supports his campaigns. Rep. Peter DeFazio voted against it because it doubles the amount of land exempt from environmental review and doesn’t provide a way to pay for forest thinning. There’s good reason it failed four times before.
And finally, Walden voted to fund CHIP, the effective program that lapsed which provides health care for 9 million children. It’s a great program, but this time it’s being partially paid for by a $10 billion cut to public health funds and shortening the grace period for Obamacare enrollees who can’t pay their premiums. About 700,000 people would lose their health insurance as a result. Another sneaky way to continue sabotaging the ACA.
We need to replace Walden with better representation from Oregon to stand up for our state’s real needs.