21st Century Cures Act to Create Health Care Reform

December 06, 2016 11:15 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The 21st Century Cures Act is in prime position to become law, as it heads to the desk of President Obama for his signature.

His signature will propel $1 billion in grants over the next two years to battle the nationwide opioid epidemic, which is something not foreign to Minnesota. Earlier this year, ABC 6 News reported that Minnesota saw over 200 people die from overdose in 2015.


Also on the bill is language that has some supporters of the bill celebrating, believing the bill to call for more understanding towards mental illness.

“The bill says you should get treatment for eating disorder which is the number one causing death of any mental illness and you should be able to get residential treatment just like you may for other mental illnesses,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, a longtime advocate for the bill.

Included in this legislation is the Anna Westin Act, which was named for a young Minnesota woman who died from an eating disorder in 2000. Her mother, Kitty Westin has been pushing for mental illness understanding ever since.

 “What we know about eating disorders, there’s so much stigma and shame, which is true for any mental illness and people weren’t talking about eating disorders and I vowed to talk about them,” Westin said.

The bill will also allocate almost $5 billion over 10 years to the National Institutes of Health, some of which will go to Mayo Clinic’s Medical Research. According to Senator Amy Klobuchar, this includes Mayo’s Alzheimer’s research.


Olivia York

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