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Congress can push HHS to Designate SUD Treatment Provider Assistance Funds

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As you have certainly heard, Congress is deadlocked regarding reaching an agreement on how to provide another COVID-19 assistance package. NAATP has joined coalition partners in requesting significant financial assistance in that legislation.

While we will continue to press for relief in any future legislative relief package, we have decided to also focus on another avenue. Previously Congress provided billions of dollars in a fund for “healthcare providers.”  There are billions left unspent in that fund. Health and Human Services (HHS) can designate some of those dollars for SUD treatment providers.

As you know, prior to the arrival of COVID-19, the only designated health care emergency in the United States was related to substance use disorder. Yet that crisis has been overlooked in recent months. In an attempt to push HHS to direct existing funding toward SUD treatment, we are asking members of Congress to join in that effort.

Attached here in letter form are talking points you may use when you may use to call your members of Congress. When you call, you will not only be asking them to encourage HHS to do the right thing, you will also be making the point that SUD treatment must not be overlooked during these difficult times.

When you speak to your congressional offices, they may ask what specifically they should request of HHS. You may provide them with this document, which provides the information they will need. Please ask them to make this request as soon as possible while funds are still available. After you make these calls, we would appreciate any feedback you receive.

It’s always difficult to rise above the noise in Washington DC to get Congress to focus on something other than the latest political crisis. As constituents, you have a distinct advantage when making these kinds of requests. We know times are tough for many members and we want you to know that we are working hard every day to help in every way we know possible.

Thanks for your assistance and willingness to respond.