REP. COSTELLO TESTIFIES TO ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THE LOCAL IMPACT OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) this week testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health as part of a bipartisan Member Day on the opioid epidemic.
Rep. Costello shared feedback he has received from constituents who have been personally impacted by the epidemic.
“Throughout my Congressional district and throughout this nation, there are parents, teachers, athletes, doctors, teenagers, and seniors struggling with addiction - a disease that has no boundaries when it comes to who it affects,” Rep. Costello said during the hearing.
In describing treatment cost as a recurring concern of constituents, Rep. Costello announced his support for H.R. 1575, the Addiction Recovery through Family Health Accounts Act, legislation to allow families to utilize funding from Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, or Health Reimbursement Arrangements to cover the cost of treatment for extended family.
Video of Rep. Costello’s remarks and a transcript are below.
Rep. Costello: In speaking with constituents about the opioid epidemic, I have learned firsthand the impact this epidemic is having on our communities in Pennsylvania – it is affecting families and individuals of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Throughout my Congressional district and throughout this nation, there are parents, teachers, athletes, doctors, teenagers, and seniors struggling with addiction - a disease that has no boundaries when it comes to who it affects.
These families and these individuals are why we must continue our work to pass legislation like the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and the 21st Century Cures Act – two bills I supported that are both now law. These bipartisan bills are helping our communities through increasing access to treatment, and expanding prevention, education, and intervention efforts.
In the communities I represent, a recurring sentiment I’ve heard was, “you would not believe how much treatment costs.”
The cost of treatment and recovery is indeed crippling for so many families, even for individuals who have insurance -- $35,000 for a 30-day stay at a treatment center. $10,000 for a 10-day detox. Hundreds of dollars spent on flights to recovery programs across the country.
Families are being forced to refinance their homes, parents are taking on second jobs, and retirees are re-entering the workforce to help pay for treatment for a family member struggling with addiction.
Those seeking help should not be faced with insurmountable costs.
To help individuals provide financial assistance to family members struggling with addiction, I have added my name as a cosponsor of H.R. 1575, the Addiction Recovery through Family Health Accounts Act.
Under current law, individuals can only use funds in their Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Account, or Health Reimbursement Arrangement to pay for addiction treatment for their spouse or dependents.
This bill would give individuals the option to use funds from these accounts to help family members receive drug treatment – be it a niece, a grandfather, a cousin, a grandchild's spouse, in-laws, etc.
This legislation is a step in the right direction in alleviating the financial burden of substance abuse treatment.
I am proud of the work the Committee has done to help those facing this epidemic, and I am committed to continuing this work. I yield back, thank you Mr. Chairman.
For more information on the Member Day, click here.