(CBS News) — Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has joined with Rep. Elijah Cummings to reintroduce an ambitious plan they first proposed last year to “end the opioid crisis.” This time, the Massachusetts senator and longtime Maryland Democratic congressman would pay for it with a tax on the mega-rich.
Warren has made what she calls an “ultra-millionaire” tax a central part of her platform on the stump, saying it could cover universal child care, public college tuition and millions of Americans’ student loan debt. Now, she’d use it to foot the bill for tackling the opioid epidemic, as well.
Overdose deaths involving an opioid have increased six-fold over the past 18 years, with nearly 50,000 recorded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017. The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act Warren and Cummings co-sponsored last year would allocate $100 billion over 10 years for opioid treatment and addiction prevention.