TREAT Act Concept Supported by POTUS Commission

I released the following statement after the Commission to Combat Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that President Donald Trump grant a waiver to the states to eliminate barriers to substance abuse treatment caused by the federal Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion within the Medicaid program:

This issue was brought to my attention two years ago when I toured the Greene County Jail, where Medicaid-eligible individuals are unable to receive substance abuse treatment due to this exclusion. Since then, I have been pushing with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to cut red tape and treat as many addicted people in our country as possible. My TREAT Act would, as the Commission recommended, increase flexibility in how existing federal funding can be used to combat the opioid epidemic. Our nation is in crisis due to this epidemic. I strongly urge passage of this legislation to help treat those suffering from addiction.

The Commission called lifting the IMD exclusion, which has been part of my solution through the TREAT Act since November 2015, “the single fastest way to increase treatment availability across the nation.” According to the Commission’s Interim Report, “every Governor, numerous treatment providers, parents, and non-profit advocacy organizations” has urged this course of action in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic.

Areas of Impact

Under Medicaid’s Institution for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion, facilities with more than sixteen beds are not eligible for reimbursement, including jails. Therefore, individuals who could otherwise be enrolled in Medicaid are ineligible for substance abuse treatment reimbursement while incarcerated. Under this legislation, substance abuse treatment provided at correctional institutions would become eligible for reimbursement.

Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) prohibits the use of grants from its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) for substance abuse treatment services provided to individuals who are incarcerated. The TREAT Act would make these resources available to individuals in both community-based and institutional settings.

In the 114th Congress, the TREAT Act gained support from the following organizations:

  • Ohio HIDTA
  • Buckeye Sheriffs Association
  • Greene County Prosecutor
  • Greene County Board of Commissioners
  • Greater Miami Valley Emergency Medical Services Council
  • County Commissioners Association of Ohio
  • NACo
  • CorJus, Inc. (representing ten of Ohio’s publicly operated Community Correctional Facilities)
  • Miami Township Board of Trustees
  • City of Dayton

I have been fighting the opioid epidemic in Dayton 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 to increase access to 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 with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05).
  • 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.
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