Bipartisan Due Process Continuity of Care Act cosponsored by Turner

U.S. Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) on Tuesday signed on as the lead original cosponsor of a bipartisan bill aimed at ensuring pretrial detainees receiving substance abuse treatment may continue such services in order to help reduce the rates of overdose and recidivism post-detainment.

“Too many people in Ohio and across the country have been negatively impacted by the opioid epidemic,” Rep. Turner said. “Our bipartisan legislation amends a portion of the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy [MIEP] that perpetuates a dangerous cycle of treatment interruption and recidivism for individuals awaiting trial. Fixing this unconstitutional flaw in our Medicaid system will save lives.” 

Specifically, the Due Process Continuity of Care Act, H.R. 3074, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-MD), would amend the portion of the MIEP that denies Medicaid coverage to eligible individuals being detained pretrial, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Turner’s staff. Among the 15 other lawmakers who joined Rep. Turner in cosponsoring H.R. 3074 were U.S. Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), and Don Bacon (R-NE).  

“Our criminal justice system guarantees folks that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but preventing pretrial detainees from accessing Medicaid violates that right,” said Rep. Trone. “We know that a high percentage of incarcerated individuals suffer from mental health conditions and substance use disorders – this policy is only making matters worse. This effort will restore detainees’ constitutionally protected rights and ensure access to much-needed healthcare.” 

If enacted, H.R. 3074 also would authorize $50 million in planning grant funds for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to award to states with the goal of providing states, counties and local jails with more support to implement the policy, and to improve the quality of care provided in jails bolster the number of available providers to treat these patients, the summary says.  

Last year, a version of the bill was signed into law to allow eligible juvenile detainees to continue to receive such substance abuse treatment benefits. 

H.R. 3074 is the companion bill to the same-named, bipartisan S. 971, introduced on March 23 by U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). 

Several organizations support the bill, including the National Sheriffs Association, the National Association of Counties, the American Parole and Probation Association, the American Psychological Association, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, the Black and Jewish Unity Coalition, the International Community Corrections Association, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, among others.