It's not your father's heroin. That's one of the messages some lawmakers have in urging a comprehensive program in one big bill. From Medicaid requirements to restrictions on dispensing painkillers to more thorough reporting rules by hospitals, there is something for almost everybody not to like in the bill, says State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the sponsor.
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Lang, who chaired an Illinois House task force on the issue, rolled out what is described as a comprehensive bill during a statehouse news conference and said he and other lawmakers would have to fight a backlash and have a conversation with the governor, who may be reluctant to sign on to an estimated $25 million price tag for all of the programs which would be created or strengthened.
If we don't do this, it's going to cost us more money. More people and families will end up being destroyed. There's a huge unaccounted-for dollar amount that the state of Illinois expends due to drug addiction. So to simply say, where are we going to find the money for this, doesn't account for the fact that there are dollars we are expending that we are not counting, he said.