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What we're hearing: Anti-overdose measure left out in House

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A bill aimed at preventing drug overdoses among people recently released from prison was left out of a House addiction measure despite a push from Democrats.

Why it matters: The bill was one of Democrats' top asks for the larger bipartisan addiction measure, known as the SUPPORT Act, and backers argued it would go a long way toward fighting the overdose crisis among some of the most vulnerable people.

Yes, but: Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said the bill was too expensive.

Between the lines: The bill, known as the Medicaid Reentry Act, would provide Medicaid coverage to people up to 30 days before they are released from prison to help ensure a smooth transition and prevent overdoses shortly after someone is released.

  • Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers noted last week that the bill and another related measure would together cost more than $20 billion.
  • The committee instead agreed on some less expensive Medicaid measures, like preventing people from being dropped from coverage while they are awaiting trial.

What they're saying: Rep. Paul Tonko, one of the sponsors of the Reentry Act, blasted its exclusion.

  • "To those bemoaning the expense of the bill, I ask: How expensive is it for families to bury another one of their loved ones?" he said in a statement to Axios.
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