Cocchi Wants Life-Saving Legislation Paid For By Insurance Companies, Not Taxpayers.
(Hampden County, MA) Nick Cocchi, Deputy Superintendent of the Hampden County Sheriff's Department, candidate for Hampden County Sheriff, today announced that one of his first efforts working with the Legislature would be to re-file Senate Bill 2432, “An Act Providing access to full spectrum addiction treatment services”. The legislation was passed in the Massachusetts Senate but the legislative clock ran out before further passage in the House could send the bill addiction advocates regard as life-saving could be sent to the Governor.
The legislation proposed a major adjustment to a law passed in 2014 providing coverage from fourteen days of treatment to thirty days. Cocchi has already been in discussion with legislators, not waiting for the outcome of the Sheriff’s campaign.
“All of who have been fighting for years know that fourteen days of treatment is not enough time to successfully cure what can be years, even decades of addiction. The people entrusted to our care, need more time in our Hampden County Sheriff’s Addiction Center programs and in other successful programs run by organizations we work with,” said Cocchi.
“Some in this race for Sheriff have been saying it takes a politician to get money from Boston. We know from decades of success that it is evidence-based, proven records of success, that the legislature funds. I won’t go to Boston as Sheriff to only fight for the Department’s budget, but for the real tools we need, like this legislation, to save lives, said Cocchi.
“This legislation would have provided the funds needed for a real game-changer in this fight. This money would not have come from tax-payers but from insurance companies who should be providing this coverage for opioid and addiction abuse,” said Cocchi.
“The insurance coverage increase would cost just an additional sixty cents a year. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, this legislation would have allowed us to help many more addicts. The financial cost of addiction to society is so much more than this sixty cent premium. I thank the legislature for passing new opioid legislation this year, but I know we have to fight together in this next session, against certain special interests to get this next important step done,” said Cocchi.
“We know that the longer an addict stays in an intensive treatment program, the greater their ability is to beat their addiction. I’ve talked to so many addicts who tell me that more time with us helps them to better believe in their ability to regain their own sobriety and stay clean and sober,” said Cocchi.