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Tonko Advances Bill to Expand Mental Health & Addiction Treatment

Bipartisan legislation accepted by E&C Committee for COVID-19 package

  • Rep. Paul Tonko

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko heralded the advance of his bipartisan Medicaid Reentry Act today as part of the COVID-19 relief budget reconciliation bill currently being debated by the full House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Tonko’s bill empowers states to restore Medicaid eligibility for incarcerated individuals up to 30 days before their release to ensure those transitioning will have immediate access to critical services including mental health support, addiction treatment and COVID testing.

“This COVID-19 pandemic has put unbelievable pressure on our health care system and worsened the opioid crisis, while exposing major gaps in support and damaging health disparities for communities of color,” Congressman Tonko said. “Ending this pandemic requires that we follow science and public health wherever they lead, and in this case both are telling us that individuals leaving incarceration need their health safety net to be back in place before they walk out of jail or prison. Granting states the ability to jump-start Medicaid coverage for these individuals will mean they are not only able to receive life-saving treatment for mental health, substance use disorders and other conditions, it will also help them stay out of our already overburdened hospitals and on the path to recovery and rebuilding their lives. Thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for sponsoring and supporting this life-saving bill.”

Tonko reintroduced the Medicaid Reentry Act this week alongside Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Representatives Mike Turner (R-OH), David Trone (D-MD) and David McKinley (R-WV) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN).


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