Source: AAFP Advocacy Insider
In mid-June, the U.S. House is expected to consider over 50 bills designed to address the nation’s opioid crisis. The current package of legislation addresses broad solutions including research, payment incentives, workforce improvements, treatment standards, and data collection. The Congressional response to the opioid crisis has involved months of hearings and proposals.
During the Family Medicine Advocacy Summit in May, advocates pushed two major priorities: the Advancing Cutting Edge Research Act (HR 5002/S. 2406), to expand National Institutes of Health research on non-opioid pain options, and the Creating Opportunities that Necessitate New and Enhanced Connections That Improve Opioid Navigation Strategies Act of 2018 (CONNECTIONS) (HR 5812), to improve state prescription drug monitoring programs.
The Senate is also advancing its own opioid crisis proposals, but Senators are taking a more targeted approach and moving fewer bills. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee approved its legislation on April 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a series of bills on May 24, and the Senate Finance Committee may advance opioid bills as soon as June 12. Senate leaders may schedule floor debate in the fall and which will be influential in shaping the final package.