TURNER and Tonko Advance Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) joined Congressman Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) as the Republican co-lead sponsoring the Medicaid Reentry Act (H.R. 4005). This legislation opens the door for state Medicaid programs to receive federal matching dollars for medical services going to Medicaid-eligible incarcerated individuals during the 30-days prior to their release.
Transitioning individuals are among the most vulnerable to opioid overdose, with studies showing those leaving correctional settings are as much as 129 times more likely to die of an overdose in the first two weeks post-release compared to the general population.
“We have a short span of time in which we can identify individuals who have been incarcerated and are in need of substance abuse treatment and them being released,” said Turner. “This bill allows us to use that time to treat these individuals when we have custody of them. The opioid epidemic has affected every corner of our country and has hit our community in Southwest Ohio especially hard. This legislation is a commonsense step to increase access to treatment for Medicaid-eligible individuals.”
“Addiction knows no boundary of age, race, gender, geography or political party,” Tonko observed. “I am delighted to welcome my distinguished colleague Michael Turner as the lead Republican on this important and timely legislation. Congressman Turner has long championed the fight against opioid abuse and for recovery-driven solutions for justice-involved individuals. Being smart on crime and investing in recovery is a bipartisan issue. By providing states with increased flexibility to provide those reentering the community with the quality medical care they need, we can reduce overdose deaths, reduce recidivism, and give individuals their best chance at a drug-free life.”
This newly-bipartisan legislation is now slated to be marked up, an important step in advancing legislation through committee, in an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee session later this week.