Washington, D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) helped pass the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4531). This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the SUPPORT Act, which Cathy helped pass and was signed into law in 2018, to continue providing substance use and opioid use disorder treatment and recovery services to millions of Americans seeking help to overcome their substance use disorders.
The SUPPORT Act is the single largest congressional and bipartisan effort in our nation’s history to tackle the drug epidemic. It helped bolster treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect communities, and fight synthetic drugs like illicit fentanyl coming across our borders from China and Mexico. Specifically, the Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization (SUPPORT) Act of 2023will continue:
Providing permanent coverage of medication-assisted treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries;
Offering greater access to over-the-counter opioid reversal medications;
Coverage of substance use disorder treatment services for foster care youth,
Permanent access to inpatient and residential care services for Medicaid beneficiaries by lifting Medicaid’s IMD Exclusion;
Enhanced funding for state-level prescription drug monitoring programs; and
Placing xylazine in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, while maintaining access for veterinarians and ranchers to use in animals.
“This bill is about offering hope to those in despair—those battling substance use disorder, their families and loved ones, and the health care workers and law enforcement officers who need continued support to help save lives,” said Rodgers. “By reauthorizing the programs that were proving successful before Covid and increasing access to treatment, we can help restore hope and healing to those who need it most. I thank Subcommittee Chair Guthrie for his leadership on this important bipartisan legislation.”
H.R. 4531 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 386 – 37 and now awaits consideration in the Senate.
Click here or the image above to watch Cathy’s remarks on the House floor Monday.
“I rise today in support of the SUPPORT Act. This bill is about offering hope to those in despair – those battling substance use disorder, their families and loved ones, and the health care workers and law enforcement officers who need continued support to help save lives.
“Since 2020, overdose deaths have surged to more than 100,000 lives lost per year. Today, illicit fentanyl poisonings are now the number one cause of death among adults aged 18-49. And my home state of Washington has seen the greatest increase in drug overdose and poisoning deaths nationwide in the past year.
“The House took a critical step to help get illicit fentanyl off our streets in passing the HALT Fentanyl Act earlier this year. Now, we are moving forward with legislation to increase support for individuals suffering from substance use disorder and to help make sure they receive the treatment they need.
“H.R. 4531, the Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act, modifies and reauthorizes key programs that expand access to substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery.
“Specifically, this bill increases treatment options for intensive inpatient care, allows law enforcement to crack down on illicit xylazine distribution, continues support for at-risk youth, among many other important provisions.
“I am hopeful that by reauthorizing programs with proven success and increasing access to treatment, we can address the troubling trend in drug related deaths—saving lives and restoring hope and healing to those who need it.”
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