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President’s Commission on Opioid Crisis Supports Fitzpatrick-Murphy Bill to Improve Addiction Treatment Options

Legislation would authorize federal government to fund care at in-patient facilities through Medicaid

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Washington, November 16, 2017 | comments

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recently released a report that expresses support for a bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. The bill, called the Road to Recovery Act, would repeal a federal law—called the “IMD exclusion”—and authorize Medicaid to cover treatment at licensed, accredited residential facilities with 16 or more in-patient beds for individuals addicted to opioids and other drugs.

In its report, the Commission stated that repeal of the IMD exclusion “has been urged by every governor, numerous treatment providers, parents, and non-profit advocacy organizations.”

“The opioid epidemic is not a partisan issue; it’s a national problem that affects millions of Americans. Behind every drug overdose statistic is a shattered human life and a brokenhearted family,” said Murphy, a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. “Congressman Fitzpatrick and I are working with Democrats and Republicans to give Medicaid enrollees who suffer from addiction greater access to life-saving treatment. By effectively treating the addiction, we will not only save lives, but we also will reduce overall health care costs in the long run.”

The Road to Recovery Act, which has 36 Democratic and Republican cosponsors, has been endorsed by dozens of advocacy organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Community Anti-Drug Coalition, and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Murphy spoke about her bill this week at a Capitol Hill event on the opioid epidemic and noted that over 175 Americans now die each day—and more than 60,000 die every year—as a result of opioid overdoses. In 2015, according to one estimate, more than 3,200 people died in Florida of an opioid overdose. Orange County, one of the two Florida counties that Murphy represents, is at the forefront of the crisis with 262 opioid-related overdoses in 2015, more than all but two other counties in the state. For the text of Murphy’s remarks, click here

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