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Includes Rogers' STAR Loan Repayment Act to increase the number of treatment professionals

WASHINGTON, DC -- On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act. The bill continues providing treatment and recovery services for addiction as millions of Americans work to overcome substance use disorder through long-term recovery and workforce training. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) voted for the bill, which includes his Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program, incentivizing medical students to work in the treatment field. 

"Eastern Kentucky was once dubbed the 'Nation's Painkiller Capital', but thanks to comprehensive efforts to expand treatment and education in our region, we're leading the country in access to recovery. This bill will help continue those efforts with critical funding for programs that are saving lives here at home and across America," said Congressman Rogers, cofounder of Operation UNITE, a nonprofit organization combatting the opioid epidemic through law enforcement, treatment and education. "I'm thrilled that this bill includes the student loan repayment program to help close the gap in treatment providers needed to help individuals, and especially pregnant women, through recovery." 

Last week, a new report from the University of Kentucky and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked the Commonwealth among the highest in the nation for babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS is developed from mothers taking opioids or other substances while pregnant, causing an infant to experience withdrawals after birth. The report noted more than 77 of every 1,000 babies born in Eastern Kentucky in 2020, were born with the syndrome. 

"We must do more to help these babies suffering with NAS, and that starts with helping their mothers. This bill will ensure there are more medical professionals prepared for the treatment field, safer prescribing in every state, and more access to recovery in every corner of the country," said Rogers. 

Congressman Rogers' STAR Loan Repayment Program is expanded for five more years in the bill. It also increases the authorized amount from $25 million to $40 million, allowing more treatment professionals to participate in the program. 

The bill continues the work of the Substance Use Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, which first passed in 2018. It enhances access to services for pregnant and postpartum women, provides training and support for first responders, and empowers individuals to participate in the workforce and live independently. The legislation also provides coverage for certified opioid treatment programs for patients on Medicare and temporarily provides coverage of medication assisted treatment for Medicaid recipients.

The legislation also strengthens coordination between the FDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to prevent illicit drug trafficking at our southern border and through the mail.

The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

For more information about Congressman Rogers' work in Washington and at home in Kentucky, visit and follow him on social media

Click here to read H.R. 4531