Infants born to opioid addicts would get some additional help under legislation being negotiated in the U.S. Senate. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is a sponsor of the Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act.
Brown says the bill would make sure babies and their caregivers have access to facilities that can meet their needs. The bill also calls for Medicaid to cover some of the services. Babies in a residential facility would be eligible for coverage beyond their first birthday.
The measure is supported by senators from both parties, something Brown says is necessary to fight the opioid crisis.
“I think it takes, it takes teamwork from the federal government and state government. It takes recognition from a state government that’s been asleep at the switch, frankly in addressing the problem we have."
Brown has been advocating for this measure since 2016.
The number of babies born with withdrawal symptoms has tripled in the last ten years.
The state health department reported in 2015 that, on average, 84 infants a day were being treated by Ohio hospitals for drug withdrawal.