Rep. Hayes: “Does the current opioid epidemic make the need for mental health & substance abuse coverage more important?” Dr. Gupta: “Absolutely”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, questioned Dr. Rahul Gupta, chief medical and health officer with March of Dimes, about the opioid epidemic and the Affordable Care Act. The full committee held it’s first hearing with the focus on examining threats to workers with preexisting conditions.

“Could you tell us what impact the [ACA] had on access to treatment for substance abuse disorder…and how families were impacted by protections provided by the [ACA]?” Rep. Hayes asked.

“We found that having access to treatment, being able to expand treatment and make it available…allowed a number of people to enter the treatment spectrum. It’s very important that we reduce all the barriers to treatment when it comes to a stigmatizing disease such as addiction,” Dr. Gupta answered.

Video of Hayes’ round of questioning can be found here.