A bill introduced this week in the U.S. House would establish a federal grant program to fund inpatient treatment for heroin abuse, the Hartford Courant reports.
The Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act is designed to increase access to inpatient drug treatment services for heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, its sponsors say. Under the bill, states could apply for grant funding to provide up to 60 days at a residential facility for people who do not have health insurance, or whose plans do not cover inpatient addiction treatment.
The bill was introduced by Representative Bill Foster of Illinois and Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, both Democrats. “The heroin and prescription drug epidemic is ripping apart families and our communities, but tragically, many folks face too many hurdles to access treatment,” Maloney said in a news release. “The Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act will help turn the tide on the epidemic by expanding treatment options for our neighbors.”
Maloney noted that while inpatient rehabilitation is a proven effective treatment for opioid abuse, many people cannot afford such treatment because they lack health insurance. He added many insurance providers require patients to exhaust other options, such as outpatient treatment and counseling, before they will agree to cover inpatient treatment.
For an individual to qualify for inpatient treatment under the measure, they must either lack health insurance or have insurance that places a barrier to inpatient treatment, such as requiring that less expensive treatment be exhausted first.