The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers congratulates President-elect Joe Biden on winning the presidential election. The American people have chosen a leader who is focused on healing and bipartisanship. We also congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Her election is historic and sends a message of opportunity and inclusivity as we work to achieve a more just and equitable nation and health care system within which we do our work as addiction professionals.
When Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States in January, he will take office facing two health care crises of historic proportions: the national health crisis of substance use disorder and the COVID-19 Pandemic. The mission of the National Association is to ensure the availability and highest quality of addiction treatment; throughout this difficult year, The National Association and its members united to work tirelessly toward that goal, all while overcoming the challenges of COVID-19. We are committed to continuing that work with the new administration.
The policy advocacy platform of NAATP has always focused on establishing sound public policy, rather than engaging in partisanship, politics, or personality. We look forward to working with all who share the objectives of our policy goals, as well as advocating constructively with those who may not. Through our access channels, NAATP members have been active, vocal, and effective in advocating for the needs of our patients, and that work must move forward in 2021. Substance use disorder (SUD) is not a partisan disease and we must educate our leaders toward this understanding to help them achieve bipartisan policy solutions.
President-elect Biden has demonstrated his understanding of substance use disorder as a medical condition and has been an ally to the treatment community in his previous public service roles. As the details of the Affordable Care Act were being designed, then Vice President Biden helped NAATP and others in the field ensure that treatment for SUD was included as an essential benefit. He was a strong proponent of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, not only supporting the original Parity Act, but also making sure it was included in the Affordable Care Act.
NAATP pledges to work constructively with the new Biden-Harris Administration and Congress on SUD issues as we unite in the interests of the American people and the millions affected by addiction.