Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) with Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and Greene County Commissioners at the Greene County Jail on May 4, 2018.
Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), the Republican lead on Congressman Paul Tonko’s (NY-20) Medicaid Reentry Act, released the following statement after their bill passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee to head to the House floor:
“In 2015, I toured Greene County Jail and became aware that individuals lose Medicaid eligibility upon incarceration and therefore become unable to receive substance treatment during their time in jail. When we are able to identify individuals as addicted, we need to be able to get them the care they need while we have custody of them. I’ve since pushed for legislation to remedy this gap in access to treatment.
I recently visited the Greene County Jail again where the sheriff and commissioners reinforced how beneficial this legislation will be to our community and other communities battling this epidemic of addiction. Today’s advancement of the bipartisan Medicaid Reentry Act is a huge step towards getting these individuals access to the treatment they need.”
The Energy and Commerce Committee today approved an amended version of Turner and Tonko’s Medicaid Reentry Act, which will likely come to the House floor as part of a larger opioid epidemic bill package. Turner and Tonko’s legislation would require the Department of Health and Human Services to release guidance within one year, based on recommendations by a group of interested stakeholders, on how to improve substance abuse treatment for people being released from incarceration, facilitating their transition back into society.
“This smart-on-crime legislation will plant the seeds for meaningful change and will help to give individuals reentering society a fighting chance to live a healthier, drug-free life,” Tonko said during the committee hearing. “I’d also like to thank my Republican co-lead, Rep. Mike Turner, for his efforts to help shine a light on this vulnerable population.”
Energy & Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (OR-2) expressed strong support for Turner and Tonko’s bill during debate, saying, “This is a really sound piece of legislation...and I am fully in support of it.”
Turner has been fighting the opioid epidemic in Southwest Ohio since 2013:
- December 18, 2013: Toured Soin Medical Center, where issue of Heroin-Exposed Newborns was raised.
- March 10, 2014: Met with area hospitals to discuss the growing issue of Heroin-Exposed Newborns.
- May 15, 2014: Visited Dayton Children’s Hospital NICU to discuss infant heroin exposure and the withdrawal and recovery process.
- June 30, 2014: Held a Community Forum on the Effects of the Heroin Epidemic on Newborns.
- August 27, 2014: Visited the Women’s Recovery Center.
- May 2015: Held Community Summit on Heroin-Exposed Infants.
- August 21, 2015: Toured Greene County Jail and Green Leaf Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program; met with criminal justice system administrators and substance abuse and mental health leadership.
- November 18, 2015: Met with ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli and introduced the TREAT Act with Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3).
- May 12, 2016: The House passed an amendment he cosponsored with Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) to increase access to medical treatment for pregnant women struggling with substance abuse.
- May 25, 2016: Introduced CRIB Act to help expand access to specialized treatment and recovery options for infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a withdrawal condition in newborns often caused by use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women.
- August 29, 2016: Hosted a Heroin Epidemic Response Roundtable in Dayton with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05), lead author of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).
- October 28, 2016: Hosted a roundtable discussion on the opioid and heroin epidemic in Dayton with Senator Rob Portman (OH).
- February 2, 2017: Joined the bipartisan Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus.
- February 7, 2017: Reintroduced the TREAT Act.
- May 17, 2017: Reintroduced CRIB Act with Congressman Evan Jenkins (WV-03).
- August 7, 2017: TREAT Act concept supported by President Donald Trump’s Commission to Combat Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
- September 20, 2017: Helped secure funding for the Community Action Commission of Fayette County to help prevent youth substance abuse.
- September 22, 2017: Spoke at the Payne Theological Seminary Recovery Month Celebration.
- September 22, 2017: Visited Alkermes with Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15) to learn about its medical approach to combating the opioid epidemic.
- September 25, 2017: Held a opioid prevention forum with local leaders and joined Sheriff Plummer in calling for a drug czar.
- October 5, 2017: Sent a letter with Sheriff Plummer to Phil Parker, President and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, and Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, asking for a recommendation in identifying possible candidates for a Dayton Region Drug Czar.
- October 11, 2017: Testified on TREAT Act and opioid crisis at House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.
- December 11, 2017: Joined Congressional letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting a comprehensive funding proposal for additional resources needed to address the opioid epidemic.
- December 12, 2017: Sent a letter with Ranking Member Seth Moulton (MA-6) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to Secretary of Defense James Mattis expressing concern about the Department of Defense’s (DoD) practice of reporting prescriptions, particularly regarding opioids.
- December 12, 2017: Led a Congressional letter to several House Committees with jurisdiction over opioid-related policy issues urging them to implement the legislative elements of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis’ Final Report.
- January 10, 2018: TREAT Act and CRIB Act included in Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Legislative Agenda.
- January 19, 2018: Joined Bipartisan Heroin Task Force letter to President urging U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to renew the public health emergency previously declared for the opioid epidemic.
- February 2, 2018: Joined Congressional letter to Congressional leadership requesting additional funding to support the President’s public health emergency declaration for the opioid epidemic.
- March 2, 2018: Joined Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in touring and participating in a roundtable discussion at Brigid’s Path.
- April 18, 2018: Joined as Republican co-lead of the Medicaid Reentry Act, introduced by Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20), to permit Medicaid to reimburse for substance abuse treatment services furnished to individuals during the 30 days prior to release from incarceration.
- May 4, 2018: Re-visited Greene County Jail with Sheriff Gene Fischer and the County Commissioners to discuss the Medicaid Reentry Act.