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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

MacArthur’s Bipartisan Legislation Helps Families Pay for Drug Treatment

October 20, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman MacArthur recently introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation to help families pay for the overwhelming costs associated with drug treatment.

New Jersey’s heroin overdose rate is triple the soaring U.S. rate with Burlington and Ocean Counties making up nearly 13% of the heroin related deaths in the state of New Jersey since 2004. With treatment and recovery efforts remaining a top concern, over 184,000 individuals have been admitted to substance abuse treatment facilities in New Jersey since 2010.
MacArthur, who is a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, teamed up with Congresswoman Ann Kuster (D-NH), the Democratic co-chair of the task force, to promote the Addiction Recovery Addiction Recovery through Family Health Accounts Act.   This legislation would give family members the option of using funds in their Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, or similar accounts to pay for addiction treatment for any relative, even if they aren’t a dependent.  Currently, you are not permitted to use funds in your tax advantaged accounts to pay for a family member’s rehab unless they are your spouse, dependent, or a dependent relative. This legislation will make sure any family member struggling with addiction can be helped by a relative with these tax advantaged funds.

“Across New Hampshire and the country, the opioid epidemic is devastating communities and families,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Yet, only one in ten Americans seeks the treatment they need to overcome substance use disorder. While I’m thankful that treatment options are becoming more readily available, many families still struggle to access those options because of rising health care costs. That’s why I am proud to cosponsor the Addiction Recovery through Health Accounts Act (H.R. 6262). We must ensure families have the flexibility and choice to use all available resources to protect their families from this deadly epidemic.”

MacArthur teamed up with Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) to introduce the Addiction Recovery Through Family Deductions Act to allow individuals to deduct the cost of drug treatment for their family members as a qualified medical expense on their tax return. This legislation will ensure family members have the chance to help their loved ones by allowing the taxpayer to deduct the cost of paying for their non-dependent family member’s drug treatment.

“Too many Americans face the realities of addiction and their family members struggle with how to help them,” said Congressman Seth Moulton. “Our bipartisan bill would make it easier for families to provide drug treatment and recovery care for their loved ones. Access to addiction recovery resources shouldn’t be financially burdensome, and that’s why Congress should pass our Addiction Recovery Through Family Deductions Act.” 

“The heroin epidemic in South Jersey is damaging our communities and changing families forever,” said Congressman MacArthur. “We have to fight this epidemic together, and the first step in this process is making sure individuals seeking treatment have the resources available to do so. A focus on treatment and recovery is incredibly important as we tackle this challenge together. Thank you to my colleagues Congresswoman Ann Kuster and Congressman Seth Moulton for partnering with me on this important fix. We are all united behind the need to take strong, effective, immediate action on this crisis. Bottom line, these families deserve our support and we are here to help.”

Background: MacArthur is a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, has released a resource guide for families impacted by the opioid epidemic in South Jersey and has led the charge in supporting robust funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG), which supports the state programs to combat and treat addiction.