Opioids, broadband & national security - Hassan on her first two years in D.C.

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As new lawmakers prepare to arrive in D.C. under the shadow of a government shutdown, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) looks back on her first two years on the job.

In a lengthy one-on-one interview, Hassan touted bi-partisan work that didn’t grab a lot of headlines but she said make a world of difference to Americans. That list includes efforts to expand broadband coverage, protect national security, clarify the rights of airline passengers, and investigate the health threat of chemicals contaminating drinking water.

In her first two years, and beyond, Hassan said fighting addiction remains priority number one. Below is a condensed version of that portion of the conversation, and you can find our full interview with Sen. Hassan in the video player above.

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Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH):
“Helping Granite-Staters combat the opioid epidemic, continues to be our biggest public health and public safety challenge in New Hampshire...

"And, I’m very pleased we were able, in the bi-partisan Support Act, to get several measures that I had worked on…

"expanding our treatment centers so they’ll become comprehensive integrated prevention treatment and recovery centers…

"a bill that makes sure that there are more providers who can offer medication assisted treatment, which experts tell us is really the gold standard…

"A bill that would make it harder for people to divert drugs and hold drug manufacturers and distributors more accountable."

Kyle Midura – Washington Correspondent:
"Did you have to do any arm twisting… in order to get any of these measures to passed?"

MH: "This was a job that really just required me making sure that I was telling the story of the people of New Hampshire…

"I think some of our colleagues didn’t understand the degree to which the epidemic had spread and what kind of impact – especially drugs like fentanyl – were having…

"We were able to get a significant increase in funding nationwide to combat the opioid epidemic and then work with the white house on really changing the formula so that New Hampshire got its fair share, and other harder hit states did too."

KM: "We’ve seen talk of safe injection sites across the country...

"police chiefs even saying, ‘look we shouldn’t be prosecuting black market buprenorphine, in fact the stuff that’s on our shelves would better serve the community if we put it right back out onto the street’…

"what’s going too far when it comes to federal policy [aimed at curbing opiate addiction]?"

MH: "We just have to make sure that we are being evidence-based and looking at what can help people get well."



 
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