Steve Daines’ Intellectually Dishonest Op-Ed

Sadly, we’ve come to expect the occasional B.S. statement, op-ed, or quote from an elected official.  We write it off as just part of the job.

A salute to veterans on Veterans Day despite a voting record cutting veterans benefits or a call for civility in politics after assaulting a journalist, you know, normal politician things.

But this Op-Ed from Steve Daines might be the mother of all cowpies.

It would seem Daines realizes that no one can be against drug treatment.  It’s a bipartisan winner for a Republican Party that’s top priority seem to be dismantling the social safety net to pay for tax cuts for the ultra-rich.

“This will surely land me praise from all sides of the aisle.  From the hard-working kitchen tables of Sidney, to the reclaimed wood tv dinner sets of non-traditional families in Missoula,” is what I can only assume went through Daines’ mind as he wrote this.

To quote from the Senator’s op-ed, ” Community involvement, education, prevention, and treatment – these are the tools we need to defeat meth in Montana and I am committed to bolstering these efforts so we can kick meth out of Montana once and for all. I’m asking for you to share your story if you or a family member has been impacted by meth addiction.”

Bravo Senator, way to stand up and fight for the families destroyed by meth abuse.  But actions speak louder than words and do you know what helps addicts more than 650 words in Lee Newspapers?  MEDICAID MONEY.

The same Medicaid program you hope to demolish next week with the American Health Care Act.

The meth epidemic can be linked to the opioid epidemic because often times after an addict is unable to get prescribed or afford prescription opioids the cheapest and most common way to chase their high is meth.

This Flathead Beacon story from 2016 paints the harrowing progression for an addict.

The whole story is certainly worth your time, but this excerpt highlights the connection between opioid abuse and meth:

“No longer in the military, Smith couldn’t get the painkillers he had become addicted to and started to use heroin instead. But at that time, the local heroin supply was drying up, at least temporarily. One day, Smith’s dealer told him that he couldn’t get any heroin but he did have methamphetamine.

“I said, ‘No way, I’ve been down that road before,’” Smith recalled.

But Smith’s withdrawals were intense – “I started to feel like a tin can being crushed” – and three hours later he called the dealer back. He purchased some methamphetamine and smoked it out of a light bulb. A week later, he injected it for the first time.”

The day after Daines’ plea for help fighting addiction was published the President’s first opioid task force held a meeting. During this meeting, experts pleaded with the task force not to cut Medicaid.

PBS reports, “Medicaid is the largest national payer for addiction and mental health treatment,” said Dr. Joe Parks, the medical director for the National Council for Behavioral Health. “Since the majority of increased opiate deaths and suicide occur in young and middle-aged adults, which is the [Medicaid] expansion population, the Medicaid expansions must be maintained and completed.”

You cannot properly fight meth in Montana without also fighting the opioid problem as well.

Daines extends a public olive branch to the families ravaged by meth but hopes to rip away the program that can help treat addicts before they turn to meth.

It takes a special person to claim to be fighting an epidemic like meth addiction one-day and vote to cut the legs out from addiction treatment programs the next.

Guess next week we will see just how special Senator Daines is.

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10 Comments on "Steve Daines’ Intellectually Dishonest Op-Ed"

  1. boB AKA @Gyrogyrloose | June 21, 2017 6:56 PM at 6:56 PM |

    you cannot incarcerate a disease. We have got to end the idiotic War on Drugs that is really a War on the Poor. Oddly enough the best cure for addiction is a drug that was outlawed by the 1972 DEA model drug law, along with many other really valuable psychiatric drugs. Our insistence in trying to outlaw normal human behavior is pathetic and stupid and wastes time, money and lives.

  2. Daines sending out e-mail praising ‘his boy’ and body-slammer Daines ‘junior’, aka, Greg Gianforte, or ‘mini-me’ who got booed on house floor for his pretentious ‘goals’ to have term-limits and no pay for no balanced budget…what a farce, especially with Zinke and Daines at GG’s swearing in, and Zinke and Daines only served one full term before leaving Montana as Rep. to get bigger ‘prizes’…

  3. Has anyone noticed the correlation between Trump (republican territory), and the territories withe the most opoid addiction, could explain a lot of the irrationality in the republican platform.

  4. Under Obamacare, Montana has an array of rural hospitals. Under Trumpcare, it will be almost impossible for them to keep their doors open. The acid test for Trumpcare is assuring that our rural hospitals thrive. If hospitals close, Republicans will lose elections. The rural hospitals serve primarily Republicans and the rural vote decides elections in this state.

    • That’s false PPL – Obamacare was enacted in 2010, and those rural hospitals were there for many years before that. If they can’t make it now it’s because of the ACA – which in case you forgot belongs 100% to the Democrats, that they passed in the middle of the night, without a single GOP vote, because they were excluded from the process. If you look at the election results here since 2010 you will see the voters know who owns it.

      • 79 hearings
        181 witnesses
        121 amendments, including from Republicans
        all done over the course of one year.

        McConnell wants to cram this down our throats (to use the right’s favorite homo-erotic violence buzz phrase) in two weeks with a bill that 75% of the GOPer Senators didn’t even see until last Thurs.

      • You right wingers do have issues with reading comprehension. I suspect childhood exposure to lead.

        PPL wrote: “Under Obamacare, Montana has an array of rural hospitals. Under Trumpcare, it will be almost impossible for them to keep their doors open.” PPL did not say that Obamacare created any hospitals. The point is that many of them will close under Trumpcare.

        Simply amazing how many times one has to correct a Trump supporter. I guess it’s that uneducation thing they proudly wear as a badge.

        • The non-mentioned gentleman probably went for his education using one of those famous school vouchers that the repugs love. Wasn’t enough there for a quality education I guess.

          • Drunks for Denny | June 26, 2017 9:20 PM at 9:20 PM |

            Hmmm…..I did not think of that aspect, Richard Miller. I assumed Doug* was an older guy, but who knows? There are plenty of clueless millennials.

            Maybe Doug* attended the Bozeman preschool of Jesus riding on the backs of dinosaurs, funded by you know who?

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