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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

MacArthur’s Bill to Crack Down on Pharmacy Medicare Fraud Included in Final Opioid Bill, Will be Signed into Law

September 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Tom MacArthur, co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, released a statement following the passage of the final bipartisan opioid legislation. Included in this bill is MacArthur’s legislation, the SENIOR Communities Protection Act, which cracks down on fraudulent use of Medicare to flood our communities with narcotics.

“Republicans and Democrats have come together to pass innovative policies that provide our South Jersey community with real solutions to the opioid crisis. The bill bolsters local drug treatment, prevention, and enforcement efforts, enhances opioid prescription screening measures, and increases resources for those suffering from addiction,” said Congressman MacArthur. “All aspects of the opioid crisis are addressed in this legislation, including ways to close loopholes that allow criminals to put drugs on our streets.  My bill gives Medicare the ability to protect seniors and stop criminals who are abusing stolen Medicare numbers.  Enforcement of this policy will stop the flow of narcotics in our communities, protect seniors’ Medicare dollars, and support those who need it most.”

The SENIOR Communities Protection Act gives Medicare Part D the ability to suspend payments to a pharmacy that is under investigation for fraud or abuse.  This allows Medicare to more rapidly respond to abusive activity, and protects Medicare dollars for the seniors who rely on them. 

“As co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, I will continue finding ways to make our communities better prepared and more resilient against the opioid epidemic.  I am proud of the work we have accomplished and I am committed to building on this progress. This crisis is bigger than any one of us, but it is not bigger than all of us together,” added Congressman MacArthur.

The House previously passed the SENIOR Communities Protection Act as part of its opioid legislative package, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Earlier this month, the Senate passed The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, its comprehensive opioid legislation. Following bicameral discussions, MacArthur’s legislation was included in this final bill and will be signed into law.

The House passed the legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support, 393-8.