The Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act would establish a reliable funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment
Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Angus King (I-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), has introduced legislation to expand access to opioid abuse treatment. The Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act would establish a reliable funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment.
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact addiction has on families and communities. We’ve made progress in the fight against addiction by working together to pass landmark legislation I led with three other senators last year to bolster efforts to combat this epidemic and to make $1 billion in funding available,” said Klobuchar. “But when people continue to be turned away when they seek treatment for addiction, more must be done. Our commonsense legislation would help people across Minnesota and the country by establishing a permanent funding stream to expand access to life-saving treatment.”
The LifeBOAT Act would establish a 1 cent stewardship fee on each milligram of active opioid ingredient in a prescription pain pill to fund efforts to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. The legislation also includes a rebate program for cancer-related pain and hospice care, and exempts drugs used exclusively for the treatment of opioid addiction. That funding could be used for:
- Establishing new addiction treatment facilities, residential and outpatient.
- Recruiting and increasing reimbursement for certified mental health providers providing substance abuse treatment.
- Expanding access to long-term, residential treatment programs for addicts.
- Establishing and/or operating support programs that offer employment services, housing, and other support services to help a recovering addict transition back into society.
- Establishing and/or operating facilities to provide care for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
- Establishing and/or operating substance abuse treatment programs in conjunction with Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts.
As a former Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. Earlier this year, she and a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Synthetic and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act and the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. The SALTS Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale of “analogue” drugs, which are synthetic substances that are substantially similar to illegal drugs. The STOP Act would help close a loophole in the U.S. postal system to stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the U.S. Klobuchar was also one of four senators, along with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), to lead the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This bipartisan bill, which was signed into law last July, encourages states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against opioid addiction. At the end of 2016, $1 billion was made available by Congress to fund the national effort. To build on the monumental first step of CARA, Klobuchar introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act, which would require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states. In September 2014, the DEA implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances.