While the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA) has been defeated, the healthcare fight in Washington is not over! The current plan is to force the Senate to vote on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) early next week and give Congress two years to devise a replacement.
- Repeal would strip health coverage from 32 million people and leave our communities without prevention services or life-saving addiction treatment and supports.
People are alive right now because of the substance use services and treatment they received through the ACA.
Repealing the ACA and rolling back Medicaid expansion and subsidies for private insurance would eliminate life-saving treatment and services for millions of Americans with drug and alcohol addiction.
Health care repeal would disproportionately hurt communities of color, where access to coverage and treatment for substance use disorders is already limited.
Health care repeal would slow our nation’s progress on health equity. The uninsured rate has dropped significantly for African Americans and Hispanics because of the ACA.
We cannot tolerate cuts to coverage and services at a time when addiction is tearing our communities apart.
Repealing the ACA would return us to a tragic time when insurers only covered short- term, minimal treatment for substance use disorders, if they covered it at all. We need our leaders to preserve required coverage of Essential Health Benefits, including substance use disorders and mental illness services.
Now is the time for Congress to abandon a narrow partisan approach and work to improve access to health coverage and critical health services for everyone, especially for people with substance use disorders.
We must stay persistent in our protection of people who rely on the ACA and Medicaid for comprehensive health coverage, services, and supports that help them to live full lives in recovery.
We urge legislators on both sides of the aisle to work together to find improvements and workable fixes within the framework of the ACA.
Please call your U.S. Senators today through the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 to ask them to vote against repealing the ACA.
Sample Call Script: “Hi my name is [name] and I am from [town, state]. I’m calling to ask Senator [x] to reject any proposal to repeal the ACA. Repealing the ACA would strip health coverage from millions of Americans and keep people from accessing life-saving services and treatment for alcohol or drug addiction. Please ask Senator [x] to vote no on any bill to repeal the ACA. Thank you for your time.”
Contact Your U.S. Senators
The Road to Recovery Act [H.R. 2938], introduced by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) and Donald Norcross (D-NJ), will:
- Enable states to expand access to inpatient treatment for individuals with substance use disorders, while removing the barriers set forth by the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion policy;
- Allow Medicaid coverage in residential treatment facilities for individuals under the age of 65, and lifts the 16-bed limit, regardless of facilities size;
- Require periodic reviews, no less than every 60 days, to ensure individuals needs and services are met;
- Ensure there is no limit to the length of time in which an individual can stay in treatment and allows patients to receive a treatment plan that best meets their needs; and
- Allow states to set standards for criteria and have the flexibility to implement care based on the specific needs of each state.
"The Road to Recovery Act is an important and long overdue piece of legislation that NAADAC fully supports,” stated NAADAC’s Executive Director, Cynthia Moreno Tuohy. “Removing the 16-bed limit on treatment facilities and the cap on length of stay are imperative steps for expanding access to and the effectiveness of impatient treatment for those living with substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders. The proposed legislation will allow residential treatment facilities to have increased funding available for all types of treatment, become more self-sustainable, increase the quality of their work, and ultimately save more lives.”
Contact Your U.S. Representative
The Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion (Medicaid CARE) Act [S. 1169], introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME), and Susan Collins (R-ME), will:
Contact Your U.S. Senators
- Amend the IMD exclusion barrier and allow Medicaid coverage in residential treatment facilities with up to 40 beds for up to 60 days, and will allow for other medical services to be covered;
- Establishes a $50 million youth inpatient treatment grant program that will allow facilities to provide services for individuals under the age of 21 years old;
- Increase better access for pregnant and postpartum women to ensure treatment services are available for healthy birth outcomes.
Signed into law in 2016, CARA is a monumental step forward to better addressing addiction in our country by:
Contact Your U.S. Representative Contact Your U.S. Senators
- Treating addiction like a disease through evidence-based practices such as medication assisted and individualized treatment;
- Supporting community-based prevention efforts and long-term, robust recovery supports;
- Expanding access to naloxone so that we can reverse overdoses and save lives;
- Educating prescribers;
- Investing in prevention programs for our communities and children;
- Helping law enforcement divert individuals who are struggling with a substance use disorder so that they can be treated in their communities.