October 24, 2018

Congressman Cárdenas on the passage of the At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act

Contact: Bryan Doyle
(202) 225-6131

Below is a statement from Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) on the signing of the bipartisan At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act, an effort led by Cárdenas and Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA):

“The opioid epidemic has harmed children and American families for too long. Families suffering from addiction need access to good, affordable healthcare to ensure they can recover and be made whole again.  Drug addiction treatment is necessary, but for many, physical and mental healthcare professionals will also play a critical role.  Often, victims of this crisis are struggling beyond their addiction. They’ve experienced homelessness, job loss, isolation from traditional support systems, and involvement in the criminal justice system. This makes access to medical care almost impossible. We must do better, and this law is a start.”

“The At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act will keep young American Medicaid recipients from being permanently kicked off their healthcare if they come into contact with the criminal justice system. Right now, these young people suffer greatly when they return home to find they can no longer see their doctor, especially if they are recovering from addiction. This law will end this practice, which will help the children, their families and the communities where they live.”

“In a time of intense partisanship, it is possible to pass laws that make our communities safer to live in. I want to thank Rep. Morgan Griffith for his leadership on this issue. It is my hope that increased access to medical care for the young people who need it most will lead to saved lives and stronger families. We can defeat this deadly cycle of addiction if we do it together.”