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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia


May 17, 2017
Press Release
“These newborns need specialized care to help them recover from drug exposure before they were even born.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) introduced bipartisan legislation today to help expand care programs for drug-exposed newborns.

The Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act would build on the best practices of Lily’s Place in Huntington for treating babies born exposed to heroin, opioids and other drugs. It would also make it easier for similar centers to open across the country by cutting regulatory red tape.

The bill is also sponsored by Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Katherine Clark (D-Mass.). A companion bill will be introduced shortly in the U.S. Senate, sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

“Suffering through withdrawal from exposure to heroin and other opioids is a horrific way to start one’s life, but that’s the reality for many newborns in West Virginia and across the country. These newborns need specialized care to help them recover from drug exposure before they were even born. Lily’s Place in Huntington is making a difference in the lives of babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome and their families, and we should encourage more centers to open nationwide to treat these newborns. We can work together to cut red tape, fight the drug crisis, and ensure healthy lives for babies and children across our country,” Rep. Jenkins said.

“We must fight for the most vulnerable victims of the opioid epidemic: newborns who through no fault of their own are brought into this world already addicted to drugs,” Rep. Turner said. “This bill will aid organizations that provide medical care for innocent drug-exposed newborns. Specifically, it will allow Medicaid to be used to reimburse medical facilities outside of hospitals that provide newborns with this important care. We are going to continue to fight for funding to address this issue of the heroin epidemic.”

The CRIB Act is very similar to the Cradle Act Rep. Jenkins introduced in the 114th Congress. The bill would establish residential pediatric care centers within Medicaid to treat babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome, exposure to opioids during pregnancy. This legislation would establish a provider type for NAS treatment centers clearly defining residential pediatric recovery centers. This legislation also includes an emphasis on residential pediatric recovery centers offering counseling to the mothers and families to help build those important connections from birth.