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Our 2020 Advocacy Agenda: We Put Recovery First!

Recovery Café will join the Washington Recovery Alliance (WRA) in Olympia to advocate for Recovery being a legislative priority. This is a great opportunity to speak with your legislators directly and share your story! Join us on Feb 5th 2020!

#1: End the Opioid Distributors Tax Break

In Washington State, “pharmaceutical distributors” get a special ~$20 million / year discount on their taxes, increasing their profits while the state loses that much each year in potential behavioral health funding. In 2020, the WRA’s top priority will be ending this tax break and dedicating that ~$20 million per year to non-Medicaid treatment and recovery support services, such as recovery housing, outreach and engagement, and recovery coaching.

#2: The Clean Slate Act

The WRA is proud to have partnered on the passage of the WA State New Hope Act in 2019. The Clean Slate Act will make the process of “vacating” (deleting from public background check records) convictions in the New Hope Act automatic, eliminating the need to hire an attorney and submit burdensome paperwork. This will improve access to housing, employment, and other opportunities for thousands of members of our recovery community.

#3: Behavioral Health Workforce Stabilization

Recruiting and retaining highly qualified behavioral health workers is an ongoing challenge that makes treatment services less effective and accessible. The WRA is advocating for additional funds to increase salaries to stabilize the behavioral health workforce in our state. This will help people in recovery maintain long-term, trusting relationships with well-trained staff as they pursue their recovery journey.

#4: Inpatient Treatment Accessibility

Currently, inpatient behavioral health treatment providers require something called insurance pre-authorization–proof that a patient’s insurance covers services at a location– before that patient can receive care. As a result, patients in need of substance use and mental health treatment are often turned away when they seek help because of confusing insurance requirements. The WRA supports legislation to eliminate the preauthorization requirement so that people seeking treatment get fully-covered care when they need it regardless of obscure insurance networks and regulations.

On February 5, 2020, we’ll take these legislative priorities straight to Olympia to advocate directly to our lawmakers during Recovery Advocacy Day (RAD). Are you with us?