Blog

Congress to consider flurry of opioid bills as lawmakers aim to pass legislative package by month's end

  • Blog

    Congress to consider flurry of opioid bills as lawmakers aim to pass legislative package by month's end

    2018-05-08
    Blog
    2018-06-18
House Energy & Commerce Committee to consider opioid bills, focus on Medicaid treatment options. Congress to hold opioid bill markups this week, paving way for legislative package this summer.

Congress will continue work this week on a flurry of opioid-related bills in an effort to finalize a legislative package by the end of May. Lawmakers in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are expected to devote the next three weeks of the congressional session to the consideration – and possible advancement – of multiple opioid measures.

In the Senate, lawmakers on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee considered sweeping opioid measures last month. The Senate bill, S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, would reauthorize funding outlined in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255), which passed into law in 2016 with NACo’s support. The proposal also contains measures that would expand the ability of federal agencies to respond to the opioid epidemic, with an emphasis on research, treatment, recovery and prevention activities.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health last month considered 34 separate bills to address the opioid crisis via changes to Medicaid and Medicare. Most of the proposals were ultimately approved by the subcommittee and are slated to be considered during a full committee markup on May 9.

NACo has endorsed two of the bills set for consideration by the full Energy and Commerce Committee. The first piece of legislation, H.R. 4005, the Medicaid Reentry Act, would allow justice-involved individuals to receive federal Medicaid benefits for the 30-day period prior to their release, rather than being disenrolled from the program while they are in jail. The second bill, H.R. 1925, the At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act, would allow for more timely provision of addiction treatment services for juveniles released from county correctional facilities, thereby reducing the risk of overdose death. These measures would help counties provide effective treatment and care coordination services pre-and post-release, allowing for smoother transitions to community care. On April 11, NACo sent a letter to Congress in support of both pieces of legislation.

Congress’ consideration of opioid legislation this week comes shortly after lawmakers authorized approximately $6 billion in funds to address the opioid epidemic over two years as part of the budget agreement approved in February 2018. The FY 2018 omnibus bill, which passed in March 2018, specifically allocated opioid funding across multiple federal agencies and programs and contained a $2 billion increase in federal funds to combat the epidemic above FY 2017 levels.  

As of yet, the path forward for the House and Senate legislative proposals remains unclear. Furthermore, the political dynamics of passing a sizeable legislative package could be complicated by midterm elections later this year.

  • Basic page

    The Stepping Up Initiative

    In May 2015, NACo and partners at the CSG Justice Center and APA Foundation launched Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails.
    page

    <table border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width:100%" summary="call-out">
    <tbody>
    <tr>
    <td>

  • Reports & Toolkits

    COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse

    The COVID-19 Recovery Clearinghouse features timely resources for counties, including allocation estimations, examples of county programs using federal coronavirus relief funds, the latest news and more.
    03
    12
    7:15 pm
    Reports & Toolkits

    <table border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width:100%" summary="ad-block no-top-margin no-bullets">
    <caption>Jump to Section</caption>

  • Basic page

    Live Healthy U.S. Counties

    The National Association of Counties (NACo) Live Healthy Prescription, Health & Dental Discount Program is a NO-COST program available to all member counties.
    page

    <h1>With <a id="naco" name="naco">NACo</a>, Saving Feels Better</h1>

  • Basic page

    Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee

    All matters pertaining to criminal justice and public safety systems, including ​criminal justice planning, law enforcement, courts, corrections, homeland security, community crime prevention, juvenile justice and delinquency prevention, emergency management, fire prevention and control, and civil disturbances.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    page

    <p>All matters pertaining to criminal justice and public safety systems, including ​criminal justice planning, law enforcement, courts, corrections, homeland security, community crime prevention, juvenile justice and delinquency preven

  • Reports & Toolkits

    Opioid Solutions Center

    NACo’s Opioid Solutions Center empowers local leaders to invest resources in effective treatment, recovery, prevention and harm reduction practices that save lives and address the underlying causes of substance use disorder.
    10
    12
    3:30 pm
    Reports & Toolkits

    <p>NACo&#39;s Opioid Solutions Center empowers local leaders to invest resources in effective treatment, recovery, prevention and harm reduction practices that save lives and address the underlying causes of substance use disorder.