Historic Legislation to Fight Opioid Epidemic and Davis Bill to Fix Obamacare Signed Into Law
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) released the following statement after President Trump signed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which is historic, bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic. Davis' bill to protect religious freedom by expanding the religious conscience exemption under Obamacare was included in the package.
"This bipartisan legislation is a historic step in our continued efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, which is affecting every community in every district across the country," Davis said. "I’ve held numerous roundtables in the district asking first responders, law enforcement, and health care experts what they need from the federal government to help address this issue locally and this package contains many provisions that will address those issues. For example, one provision I’ve heard about time and time again from mental health providers in the 13th District will help ensure those struggling with addiction will get treatment and not be turned away because of a technicality with Medicaid. All together, this legislation will help confront this epidemic at all angles and I am glad President Trump signed this legislation into law."
"Additionally, this package contains my bill to fix one of the broken components of Obamacare, the religious conscience exemption. It modestly expands the exemption to include individuals who rely solely on religious methods of healing, like Christian Scientists. As the representative of Principia College, the only Christian Scientist college in the nation, I have been fighting for this change since coming to Congress. I am grateful it was finally signed into law so that they will no longer be forced to choose between following their religion or violating the law."
“We’re grateful for the passage of this religious conscience provision – and even more, for this example that thoughtful bipartisan efforts are truly possible between people of good will, regardless of religious belief or political affiliation," said Robin Hoagland, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Christian Science Church. "Even in the midst of great differences, shared values of fairness and respect for each other hold our country together. Deep thanks to those in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who worked together to pass this legislation.”
“We appreciate Congressman Davis’ strong defense for freedom of conscience," said Marshall Ingwerson, Chief Executive of The Principia, an educational institution which includes a college for Christian Scientists in Congressman Davis' district.
More on H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act will help in our efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and fight illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act follows the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act last Congress, the $4 billion appropriated in 2018 the omnibus earlier this year to help combat the opioid crisis, as well as the $6.7 billion included in the recent Defense-Labor-HHS appropriations package to boost programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse, and support access to mental health services. This is the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in history.
Treatment and Recovery
▪ Improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services
▪ Provide incentives for enhanced care, coordination, and innovation
▪ Establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers
▪ Encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain
▪ Improve data to identify and help at-risk patients and families
▪ Address high prescribing rates while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs
▪ Give law enforcement tools to get dangerous drugs out of our communities
▪ Better intercept illicit opioids at international mail facilities
▪ Improve access to federal resources for local communities
▪ Better tackle ever-changing synthetic drugs
▪ Crack down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs
▪ Provide grants for local communities to combat fentanyl
Additional information on the individual provisions in the package can be found here.
More on H.R. 1201, the EACH Act
This bill would protect those who practice certain religions, such as Christian Science, from choosing between following their religion or violating the law. Davis represents Principia College, the only Christian Scientist college in the nation.
H.R. 1201, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, exempts individuals who rely solely on a religious method of healing and whose acceptance of medical health services would be inconsistent with their religion from being forced to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act. This bill passed the House in both the 113th and 114th Congresses, but was held up in the Senate.
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