02.15.19

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Reintroduce Legislation to Combat Opioid Abuse

The LifeBOAT Act would establish reliable funding to expand access to substance abuse treatment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped reintroduce the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (LifeBOAT Act), led by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), to establish a permanent funding stream that will provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment.

“I’ve met with local health officials, law enforcement and those who have lost loved ones throughout Wisconsin, and it’s clear Washington must do more to be a strong partner in supporting local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts,” said Senator Baldwin. “In Wisconsin, we have seen a spike in fentanyl overdose deaths and opioid abuse in our state. We need to provide resources to fight this epidemic and I am proud to reintroduce this bill with Senator Manchin to help provide states with the tools they need to save lives.”

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 bill 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, both residential and outpatient;
  • Recruiting and increasing reimbursement for certified mental health providers providing substance abuse treatment;
  • Expanding access to long-term, residential treatment programs;
  • Establishing and/or operating support programs that offer employment services, housing, and other support services to help those in recovery transition back into society;
  • Establishing and/or operating facilities to provide care for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome; and
  • Establishing and/or operating substance abuse treatment programs in conjunction with Adult and Family Treatment Drug Courts.

Senators Baldwin and Manchin are joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN),  Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).