With a 70 percent public approval rating and after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Congress has now passed the Biden proposal (H.R. 1319) to provide $1.9 Trillion in assistance to nearly every segment of the population. While the votes in Congress were party line, many Governors, Mayors, and other elected officials from both parties were in support. Because it was a partisan vote, Congress used the unusual reconciliation procedure which requires only a majority vote.
The largest percentage of funding is designed to provide relief for the COVID 19 pandemic. It includes increased procurement and distribution of the vaccines that are now available as well as funding for states, municipalities and schools as the Biden Administration pushes a return to normalcy.
Recognizing the increased need for SUD treatment services, the massive spending bill includes funding for numerous substance use disorder programs. While the focus in the bill centers on publicly funded treatment, a substantial amount of funding is still available for all SUD treatment providers through the previously approved Healthcare Provider Fund.
This legislation includes:
1. $1.75 billion for each of the Substance Use Prevention and Treatment and Community Mental Health programs administered by SAMHSA.
2. $80 million for mental and behavioral health training for healthcare professionals and public safety officers.
3. $20 million for a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals and first responders and $40 million to promote mental and behavioral health among their work force.
4. $30 million for a new program at SAMHSA to provide prevention programs for overdose and other drug misuse.
5. $100 million for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training program at HRSA, to expand access to services through focused training.
The legislation includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits into September, and an expansion of the child tax credit for one year.
NAATP appreciates the attention paid by the Administration and Congress to the devastating impact of SUD during this pandemic and the funding which will assist treatment providers and those suffering from the disease.
NAATP and our colleagues will be analyzing the bill in the coming weeks. For further details see: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.