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    Doctors are notably absent from D.C. healthcare discussions

    There are three major, ongoing crises that are gripping the nation and millions of lives are at stake.

    Yet Washington D.C. continues to turn to politicians instead of physicians to enact meaningful change. That must stop immediately.

    The CDC, which despite a shakeup in leadership is still led by a physician, has declared this year’s influenza outbreak an epidemic —a great first step. There are sharp minds at the agency educating the public and exploring better vaccination options for the future while keeping track of the myriad other diseases in the U.S. and abroad. 

    But—as every physician reading this knows—you can’t make progress without money. The Trump Administration has already proposed a $1.2 billion reduction in the agency’s budget. Budget cuts mean these activities get scaled back, threatening both national and global health.

    Hopefully, by the next round of budget discussions, the CDC will have a permanent physician-leader who can advocate for keeping funding levels sufficient to address the numerous health-related issues at home and abroad.

    The opioid crisis shows no signs of abating, and now comes news that the administration is ignoring its own White House Office of National Drug Control Policy advisors in shaping a strategy toward any positive momentum. Meanwhile, the drug policy experts in D.C. are facing their own funding cuts. 

    This comes after recommendations from a six-member opioid commission headed by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and comprised of three other governors, one state attorney general, and a PhD professor of psychobiology. Zero physicians—MD or DO. Zero.


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