October 25, 2017

Senators Unveil Legislation to Invest $45B to Address Opioid Crisis

Senators Call on President Trump and GOP in Congress to Support Bill, Join in Securing Resources for Struggling Communities; Unlike GOP Health Care Scheme, Senators' Bill Does Not Decimate Medicaid or Serve As Replacement for Coverage

Text of the bill available here (PDF)

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today joined Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and nine other senators in introducing the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act to address a number of critical shortcomings in our nation's approach to combating the opioid epidemic, including the Trump Administration's unwillingness to make a long-term investment in the fight.  The legislation would invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids.  This is the same funding level proposed by Senate Republicans earlier this summer in the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Additional cosponsors include Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

"Communities throughout the Commonwealth are struggling to provide help to people suffering from addiction, but they need more money to support the programs that work," said Senator Warren.  "This is an issue that touches families across Massachusetts, and I'm committed to doing my part in the Senate to increase funding for programs to fight this epidemic. The Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act is part of this effort."

The legislation would:

  • Authorize and appropriate $4,474,800,000 for state grant programs to address opioid addiction for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
  • Expand the use of funding already allowed under current law, so that states may also use this money for detection, surveillance and treatment of co-occurring infections, as well as for surveillance, data collection and reporting on the number of opioid overdose deaths. 
  • Promote research on addiction and pain and authorize and appropriate $50,400,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2022. This funding would be distributed by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Provide stable, long-term funding totaling $45 billion to combat the opioid epidemic.

The legislation has been endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA), National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Social Workers, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Safety Council, Treatment Communities of America, and Young People in Recovery.






















Photo Credit: Wendy, Licensed under Creative Commons.