Legislative Alert: Senate Passes Opioid Package

Sep 20, 2018

On September 17, 2018, the Senate passed its opioid package of 70 bills. This is after the House passed a similar package in June. Sponsored by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, it included several initiatives to fight the opioid epidemic. The package does not provide additional money, but does authorize the ability to potentially allocate money to new and existing grants. It also includes provisions for research and development of non-addictive painkillers.

The House and Senate will now have a conference committee to work together to see what differences exist in the two packages, and then both chambers will vote again.

An article on CNN quoted Alexander stating that he is "already working to combine the Senate and House-passed bills into an even stronger law to fight the nation's worst public health crisis, and there is a bipartisan sense of urgency to send the bill to the President quickly."

BHAP approves of the passing of this bill, and encourages you to contact those on the Energy and Commerce committee to not only find a resolution between the two bills, but to make sure the IMD Exclusion is included in the final revision. The Energy and Commerce Chairman is Greg Walden; the sub-committee Chair is Michael Burgess, and heading the Senate side will be Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray.

A reminder that we have a petition regarding the IMD Exclusion. If you did not have the opportunity to sign it, it's not too late. The petition results will be forwarded to the United States Senate as legislation moves forward, so please sign the petition now.

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