GOP leaders seek to raise $10bn from hedge funds to combat opioid epidemic
The Republican-led Congress is exploring ways to use funds from hedge fund funds to help tackle the opioid epidemic, according to Republican leaders.
“We’ve got to get this problem under control,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a conference call on Wednesday.
“And I think the most important thing is to be able to fund this through the tax code, through a combination of things that have bipartisan support.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are also exploring ways of using funds from the hedge fund sector to help address the epidemic.
But they did not detail how much money they would use to fund the effort.
“I think the fact that we have these very different approaches, and we’re looking at different approaches to get to that goal, is a good thing,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota.
“I think we should be looking at a bipartisan approach.”
In a joint statement, the heads of major Wall Street firms said they would “support efforts to address the opioid crisis, which has claimed the lives of more than 2.3 million Americans.”
The hedge fund industry has long been an economic powerhouse in the United States.
But with the economy slowly recovering and the number of Americans seeking treatment for opioid addiction rising, hedge fund companies have seen a significant number of clients lose their investments.
The issue is likely to intensify as the crisis worsens, as the U.S. economy shrinks and the opioid supply is depleted, said Mark Krikorian, an economist at Morgan Stanley.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that hedge fund partners had raised $10 billion in the last six months to help fight the opioid pandemic.
The Journal noted that the funders include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley Capital.
Krikorian said the fund companies could have a direct impact on helping to fund programs that help people with opioid addiction.
“The money could be used to help people to get treatment, or it could be diverted to other programs,” he said.