Walberg, Dingell Bills to Tackle Opioid Crisis Pass the House
Washington, D.C.—Today, the House of Representatives passed two bipartisan bills authored by U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (MI-07) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) to bolster the federal response to the opioid crisis. Jessie's Law, H.R. 5009, and the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, H.R. 5041, are part of a series of legislation solutions the House is considering throughout the week to enhance treatment and recovery programs, increase prevention efforts, protect communities, and fight the synthetic drug fentanyl. Click here to watch Walberg’s remarks on the House floor, and here to watch Dingell’s remarks.
“Families I hear from in Michigan know the suffering caused by the opioid crisis all too well. It is devastating the dreams of a generation,” said Walberg. “With our bipartisan legislation, we are taking more meaningful action to prevent opioid misuse and offer a helping hand to those battling addiction. This is an urgent crisis, and I stand ready to continue working together to get these measures to the president’s desk.”
“Jessie’s story breaks your heart, mostly because her death was completely preventable,” said Dingell. “Today, Congress sent a strong message that her loss was not in vain and no other family should have to experience what the Grubb family went through. If a patient has given their consent that their history of substance abuse can be part of their medical record, then it should be displayed prominently. We can’t have this information lost in the jumble of a medical record. Jessie’s Law is common sense and I’m proud that it’s one step closer to being signed into law. It’s also critical that we give Hospice employees the tools they need to dispose of opioids once a patient has died. That’s why I’m pleased to support this bipartisan legislation.”
Background on the Walberg-Dingell legislation
H.R. 5009, Jessie's Law, is named after Jessie Grubb, a resident of Michigan who tragically died of an opioid overdose in 2016. Jessie's Law will help ensure doctors have access to a consenting patient's prior history of addiction in order to make fully informed care and treatment decisions.
H.R. 5041, the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, will help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by equipping hospice professionals with the legal authority to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death.
To learn more about Congressman Walberg’s bipartisan work to combat the opioid crisis, visit walberg.house.gov/heroin.