Health Care and Opioids
Whether it’s battling drug and alcohol addiction, treating mental health issues, addressing permanent, chronic, and high-risk health problems, or simply helping a sick child, we all confront circumstances that require health care throughout our lives. Providing insurance, access to safe hospitals and services, and ensuring equitable opportunities to receive care are at the heart of the Senate Democrats agenda.
Legislation I’m Working On
Senate Bill 1001 − Public Health Emergency Declarations
This legislation will provide the Department of Health the ability to declare public health emergencies in the case of several types of events. The declaration would last 90 days, unless extended by the Secretary of the Department of Health.
Currently, the Governor has declared a disaster emergency to provide state government and public health providers with additional tools to fight the opioid epidemic. However, a public health emergency declaration would be better suited for this crisis.
SB 391 – Casey’s Law − Involuntary Commitment for Substance Abuse Disorders
This legislation amends the Mental Health Procedures Act to provide authority for a spouse, relative or guardian to petition a county administrator to allow for the involuntary commitment of such an individual so that they may begin to receive the treatment necessary to address their substance abuse.
My bill is largely based on Casey’s Laws with additional due process protections for the involuntary commitment procedure under the Act.
Women and minorities have access to high quality, affordable healthcare – it must be provided to all, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, age, or sexuality. For too long, health care has not been equitably available to women and minorities. Insurance and hospital access has been denied, too expensive, or not covered necessary services in the past. The Senate Democrats will fight to ensure everyone has equal access in the future.
State Senator Jay Costa has been leading the effort to stem the terrible impact of this crisis for years. As the co-chair of the PA HOPE caucus (the Pennsylvania Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Caucus) he has been working to implement new legislative and administrative policies to combat the escalating crisis.
What Senator Costa & the Senate Democrats have done:
What we are trying to do:
Pa Senate Democrats Applaud On-Time Budget with Investments in Education, Health Care, Workforce Development and Social Justice
HARRISBURG, PA − June 22, 2018 − The Pennsylvania Senate passed the state budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 (House Bill 2121) by a vote of 47-2. “In January, the Senate Democratic caucus outlined our priorities for the year and this budget puts the money where our mouths...read more
Pittsburgh, Pa. − May 22, 2018 − The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously in support of Senate Bill 1001, Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr.‘s legislation that will allow the Department of Health to declare public health emergencies. The...read more
February 7, 2018 − State Senator Jay Costa has been leading the effort to stem the terrible impact of the opioid epidemic for years. As the Senate Democratic Leader, co-chair of the PA HOPE caucus (the Pennsylvania Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Caucus) and a...read more
Pittsburgh, December 8, 2017 − At the request of state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, the state Senate Democratic Policy Committee today held a hearing on Costa’s legislation that would enable families to seek court-ordered addiction treatment for their loved...read more
Harrisburg – June 15, 2017 – State Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) issued the following statement thanking Attorney General Josh Shapiro for joining the investigation into potentially misleading pharmaceutical marketing campaigns. “We can’t simply wish this problem...read more
Harrisburg – June 15, 2017 – State Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) today signaled his intent to introduce a resolution urging Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro to file suit against the pharmaceutical industry for deceptive and unfair marketing...read more
Harrisburg – February 16, 2017 – Committed to the fight against opioid addiction, State Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) today introduced legislation that would provide support to families seeking emergency treatment for loved ones. “Families are suffering – it’s as...read more
Harrisburg, July 10, 2016 - Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) released the following comments in support of Gov. Tom Wolf's announcement that he was allowing the...read more
Harrisburg, May 18, 2016 – With drug overdose deaths reaching epidemic levels, Senate Democrats unveiled legislation today to address the opioid addiction crisis from prevention through recovery. “Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate and there is no easy...read more
Pittsburgh - April 7, 2016 - At the request of state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, the state Senate Democratic Policy Committee today held a hearing on ways to improve access to treatment for people suffering from addiction to opiates, such as heroin, opium and...read more