Opioid Crisis Legislative Update

From Rural Health Voices:

Late last week, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released a discussion draft of the bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The legislation follows a series of six hearings held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee since October 2017, and is intended to improve the ability of the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) to address the opioid epidemic and its effects. Senator Alexander explained, “The opioid crisis is currently our most serious public health epidemic and despite efforts in every state, it’s getting worse. Our response needs to be urgent, bipartisan and effective.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has also scheduled a second hearing as they work to compile an opioid legislation package this spring. The hearing is entitled, “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Improving the Ability of Medicare and Medicaid to Provide Care For Patients.” We will live Tweet both the HELP and Energy Commerce Committee Hearings.

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