U.S. House Passes the American Health Care Act

Press Release May 3, 2017
Media Contact

<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Grant Smith 202-669-6573</p>

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act. The measure next goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Below is a statement from Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs with the Drug Policy Alliance:

“The Drug Policy Alliance advocates for increased federal and state funding for drug treatment and believes that treatment should be available to anyone who wants it. Accordingly, the Drug Policy Alliance opposes the American Health Care Act because millions of people would lose treatment coverage under this bill and efforts to end the opioid crisis will be put in grave jeopardy.

“Today’s passage of the American Health Care Act by the U.S. House of Representatives is deeply disturbing given the magnitude by which this House Republican-backed healthcare bill will severely undermine efforts to end the opioid crisis. This healthcare bill single handedly threatens to kill insurance coverage for millions of people enrolled in life-saving treatment and mental health services. It is absolutely appalling that President Trump and House Republican leaders have pushed this proposal through the House knowing that millions of people who depend on coverage for treatment and mental health guaranteed through the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and essential health benefit requirements could lose this coverage should this proposal become law.

“Without adequate coverage to access treatment and health care, people struggling with problematic substance use could relapse to riskier opioid and other drug use behaviors that increase risk for developing costly medical conditions, contracting and transmitting blood borne disease, and experiencing life threatening overdose. The Senate must not make the same mistake that Republican leadership in the House just made. Playing politics with vulnerable communities will place millions of people’s lives in peril and put a stop to the gains made toward slowing down the opioid crisis."

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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