Dems push back on Trump-era HHS health rule

A group of Democrats are pushing back against the administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era regulations on the opioid epidemic.

The move comes amid criticism that it would leave tens of thousands of people without access to healthcare.

The White House has said it is not considering such a move.

A group of Democratic senators led by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) on Tuesday sent a letter to the White House and HHS Secretary Tom Price calling the proposal “unworkable” and “inappropriate.”

The group said the proposed rule “would undermine access to the lifesaving medication naloxone” for those suffering from opioid addiction, as well as its other lifesaving medications.

The letter said the new rule would create an unnecessary barrier for patients seeking emergency help and would place patients and providers in a “de facto Catch-22.”

The administration has said the regulations would not affect emergency use of nalaxone and that they were only meant to provide guidance to prescribers, not patients.

“In the absence of this new rule, thousands of patients would be denied lifesaving treatment and hundreds of thousands would be placed in a Catch- 22 that threatens to deny the lives of others,” the letter said.

It was the second time in two weeks that Democrats sent a bill to the House, which passed it on Thursday.

The Senate also passed a bill Wednesday, and Democrats have also asked President Donald Trump to sign it into law.