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Health Care

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May 16, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) released the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed a number of bills that address the growing opioid crisis nationwide, but did so without any resources.

May 11, 2016 Press Release
“Today, there will be votes and a lot of self-congratulatory rhetoric about the fact that we are moving on something, but remember: there is not a penny for law enforcement, for treatment, or for prevention and education. Until we do that, we are kidding ourselves that we are going to turn this alarming, disturbing trend around. “We have an epidemic in this country which far surpasses any challenge presented by a natural disaster. If we had an attack on the homeland that took the number of lives that these maps represent – this Congress would be on fire! “To be clear, there is not a penny in either of these measures to help law enforcement, the police and fire who are responding to these crises day in, and day out. There is not a penny for treatment beds, for detox for long-term care treatment. In Connecticut, it takes 4-6 months to get into treatment. And there is not a penny for education. “If we had a hurricane, or a forest fire, or tornado that was ravishing parts of this country, or an attack on the homeland, this place would not hesitate on getting resources out there to help folks respond to that type of a crisis. Yet, somehow we can turn a blind eye to the thousands of Americans who are suffering from some type of addiction, to the thousands of law enforcement and fire personnel who are responding to these calls as we speak right now.”
May 4, 2016 Press Release
“One of the most urgent requests we have heard from law enforcement officers, public health officials, and community leaders is for funding to address this growing epidemic,” wrote the members. “We must treat this problem like the emergency that it is, and give those responding to the crisis the tools, support and resources they need right now.
April 19, 2016 Press Release
“The Two-Midnight Rule was not a solution to the observation crisis for hundreds of thousands of Medicare patients across the nation,” said Courtney. “The arbitrary coding of observation status is plunging families into a Medicare black hole financially and medically. While I am pleased they have ditched the Two-Midnight Rule, it is time for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to join the 56 other organizations and 118 bipartisan cosponsors in supporting passage of my bill, the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015.”
April 13, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) delivered a floor speech highlighting devastating statistics from the CDC which show opioid and heroin related deaths have nearly quadrupled between 2004 and 2014, the last available year for which we have national data. Congressman Courtney is the lead sponsor of a House bill to provide $600 million in emergency funding to address the drug abuse epidemic which has 24 co-sponsors, and has been endorsed by 21 independent organizations.

March 15, 2016 Press Release
“What I think is of concern is you just released new funding through HRSA to community health centers which is much appreciated, but there is no request for emergency funding this year. When you look at Zika [virus] and OCO funding this year, which Chairmen Kline and I will be voting on is billions of dollars in emergency funding for our overseas military operations on the Armed Services Committee, but when you look at that compared to a problem where we are losing 28,000 people per year."
March 14, 2016 Press Release
“It is imperative that we support young physicians who want to specialize in underserved medical fields, especially those related to pediatric services,” said Courtney. “We know that there is interest among medical students to enter these fields, but the high cost of obtaining a medical degree often necessitates that they enter a more lucrative specialty. By providing an option for physicians to receive student loan repayments for practicing in an underserved field, my bill would incentivize medical students to enter these high-need areas. I am proud to be working with Rep. Collins, and groups like the Arthritis Foundation, to bring attention to the need for pediatric specialists in underserved fields. I am honored to be receiving the Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Leadership Award tonight. “
March 10, 2016 Press Release
“Today the Senate was able to come together and vote nearly unanimously on a bill which will have a meaningful impact on the growing prescription opioid and heroin abuse crisis – and the House must do the same,” said Courtney. “I urge Speaker Ryan to recognize that our country remains in the grip of a drug abuse epidemic, and that the states urgently need assistance from the federal government in order to properly address this public health emergency. I also hope that the House will consider my bill which would provide an additional $600 million dollars in emergency supplemental funding to address both the law enforcement and public health aspects of drug abuse across our country."
February 29, 2016 Press Release
“The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in 2014, 27,000 Americans suffered accidental overdose deaths across the country - a drastic increase from 2013,” said Courtney. “And this trend is happening again all across the country. In the state of Connecticut, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported its statistics for 2015, which showed that 723 individuals lost their lives. So we are in the midst right now of a problem that is sweeping across the country that is affecting states that are Republican and Democrat, Blue and Red, and we as a Nation need to get all hands on deck and come to grips with it."
February 12, 2016 Press Release
“Losing 74 Americans every single day to this epidemic is unacceptable. As such, we strongly encourage you to declare the opioid and heroin epidemic a crisis immediately, and to look into a mechanism by which to make emergency funds available to states to combat the issue today. We stand ready to support your efforts to combat the epidemic that so many Americans are already fighting every day. We request your immediate attention to this serious matter and look forward to your response.”