This evening the U.S. Senate passed their version of the package designed to address the Opioid crisis and other substance use disorders. It contained over 70 legislative proposals from five different Senate committees. The vote was 99 to 1.
While this legislation does not provide additional money, it does authorize the appropriators to potentially allocate billions to new and existing grants and demonstration projects.
The House of Representatives passed a similar package several weeks ago. Now that the Senate has acted, a conference committee will occur between the Senate and House where differences between the two bills will be negotiated.
The conference committee could take place as early as this week. It’s important that you communicate NAATP priorities to the conference committee.
We urge the conference committee to remove the IMD exclusion for Medicaid patients, providing access to treatment to that population. The House version contained a scaled-down provision while the Senate did not address the issue.
NAATP also urges the committee to adopt the House language amending 42 CFR Part 2. The House version will provide critical patient confidentiality while allowing for the use of electronic medical records. It would move substance use disorder treatment into the mainstream of primary medical care.
Other NAATP priorities were either in both bills or are considered non-controversial. We anticipate a vote in the House of Representatives next week and a final Senate vote shortly after.
The lead negotiators on the House side will be: Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden and sub-committee Chair Michael Burgess. Heading the Senate team will be: Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray.
Please contact these Members of Congress ASAP.
NAATP Director of Public Policy