McKinley, Kaptur Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Settlements Are Used to Address Opioid Crisis

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Washington, November 22, 2019 | comments

U.S. Representatives David B. McKinley, P.E., (R-W.Va.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at ensuring the funds that states receive from opioid settlements are used to fight the epidemic and are focused towards treatment, prevention, education, and enforcement.

The Opioid Settlement Accountability Act (H.R.5242) would ensure funds from opioid related settlements are used to address the opioid crisis and are not being used as a piggy bank for other projects. Click here to read the full text of H.R. 5242.

“Many states used money they received from the tobacco settlements in the 1990’s for transportation projects and balancing budgets instead of prevention efforts. Twenty years later, we are seeing settlements being reached with communities impacted by the opioid crisis," McKinley said. "We must not repeat the same mistakes; these funds must be used to help address the crisis and not as a slush fund for other projects. Our legislation will serve as a guardrail, ensuring money from settlements related to the opioid crisis are used for treatment, prevention, education and enforcement.”

“As the opioids litigation settlements are determined, the federal government must assure Medicaid-related dollars are directed and allocated to explicitly fund efforts to curb this tragic crisis. This legislation would ensure accountability of the opioids settlement money recouped from pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors and protect the funding from being used for other matters,” Kaptur said. “In communities like those in Ohio and West Virginia, where the opioids crisis has destroyed so many lives, settlement funds must be allocated to include treatment and social support services that help prevent further opioid misuse and substance abuse.”

The bill outlines that funds from these settlements be used for:

  • Treatment and wrap around support services for individuals suffering from opioid use disorder.
  • Education related to the dangers of opioid abuse.
  • Programs to help patients reduce or quit their use of opioids and educate our doctors and nurses about non-opioid pain management strategies.
  • Long-term recovery support services to help people find housing and jobs, reconnect with their families and communities, navigate the criminal justice system and avoid relapsing.
  • Support for our law enforcement and first responders who are on the front lines of this crisis on a daily basis.
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