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Congressional Turmoil Stalls SUD Progress

Washington DC is seldom boring and now the turmoil in the U.S. House of Representatives has stalled progress on all legislation including NAATP priorities. It is unclear how long it will take to choose the next Speaker of the House. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on another government funding crisis since the extension recently passed ends mid-November.

One of our priorities has been reauthorization of the Support Act. It includes several important items for the SUD field. At one point during the government funding fiasco, they decided to pass the Support Act to show that they could accomplish something on a bi-partisan basis. Unfortunately, they were not able to get that done.

We are continually in contact with the appropriate Senate committee members to include stronger language for our priority items in their version of the Support Act, so that a House-Senate compromise will include a stronger outcome for SUD treatment providers.

On a positive note, the Administration extended the deadline for comments on their proposed rules to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity). I understand that the mental health and SUD field has provided huge support for the proposed rule. If implemented, this could be the most important advancement for access to care since the original bill was passed.

On another note, collaboration is an NAATP priority, and we work regularly with colleagues in companion organizations as we participate advocacy collations. In that regard we are pleased to become a Friend of NIAAA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.