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Foster Introduces Medicaid CARE Act to Expand Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Under Medicaid

May 19, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) introduced H.R. 5287 - the Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion (CARE) Act – a bill that would expand access to treatment for people who are struggling to receive the addiction care they need.

This measure would help thousands of people across the country, including 2,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in Illinois who receive treatment for substance abuse and addiction each year.

“An outdated Medicaid policy is preventing people from accessing substance abuse treatment,” said Foster. “Studies have shown that just 12 percent of people are actually receiving the care they need because of antiquated definitions of addiction and mental illness. If we are serious about fighting back against drug addiction, we need to align our policies with our present-day understanding of addiction as a treatable medical condition. The Medicaid CARE Act is designed to get care to patients who need it the most.”

The Medicaid Care Act is co-sponsored by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-7), Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-5), Rep. Ron Kind (WI-3), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-5), Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), and Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-11).

“With Illinois and our entire nation struggling in the face of a growing opioid addiction epidemic, the last thing we should be doing is preventing people from accessing the care they need to recover,” said Congresswoman Duckworth. “But that’s exactly what current policies are doing, and it’s only getting worse as our state continues to slash treatment funding. If we’re serious about helping people recover from addiction, we have to do more not less—so I’m proud to work with Congressman Foster on this legislation to help thousands of Illinoisans get the care they need.”

This bill would be the House companion to S. 2605, a bill introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). The full text of the bill is available here