Family and Medical Leave Insurance is Necessary to Fight the Opioid Public Health Crisis

One of the biggest problems facing New Hampshire is the heroin and opioid public health crisis.  Each year, it costs NH hundreds of lives, costs our families and it costs our communities. Beyond these impacts, the crisis has also cost NH’s economy more than $2.36 billion dollars in lost worker productivity and job loss. We’ve heard from business after business, unable to retain good employees due to personal family struggles with addiction. This needs to stop. 

There is one bipartisan effort, House Bill 628, which will help stem the tide of lost productivity and job loss:  family and medical leave insurance.  Right now, workers with family members suffering from substance use disorders often cannot take time away from work to help their loved ones obtain the treatment they need, simply because they cannot afford it. Family and medical leave insurance would help. By creating this temporary wage replacement insurance, people can actually help their family members get the treatment they need without risking financial devastation.  This helps workers and families get healthy, increases productivity and reduces incidence of job loss. 

This is good for business, good for workers and good for families. If we are serious of combatting the heroin and opioid public health crisis, now is the time to pass House Bill 628 and move forward with family and medical leave insurance. Now is the time to help people keep something critical for their family’s recovery: their job.

-Michele Merritt, Senior Vice President and Policy Director