The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), has been proactive in pursuing ways to combat and solve the opioid crisis.
Every day, we see stories in the news about the devastating impact this crisis has had on our country. These heartbreaking stories are occurring in every state, and we understand that the time to act is now.
We listened. We worked together. We are taking action.
Republicans have been leading the charge to bring meaningful legislation to the House floor. As House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said:
“Beating the deadliest drug crisis in history will require nothing less than the biggest response in history. That response is already under way, led by President Trump and Republicans in Congress.”
By the numbers, here is what Ways and Means Republicans have done so far to help communities and families nationwide take on this crisis:
4 Hearings in 2018:
- On April 25, 2018, the Trade Subcommittee held a hearing on “The Opioid Crisis: Stopping the Flow of Synthetic Opioids in the International Mail System.”
- On April 12, 2018, the Human Resources Subcommittee held a hearing on “Jobs and Opportunity: Local Perspectives on the Jobs Gap” that discussed problems the opioid crisis is creating in finding qualified workers.
- On February 6, 2018, the Health Subcommittee held a hearing on “The Opioid Crisis: Removing Barriers to Prevent and Treat Opioid Abuse and Dependence in Medicare.”
- On January 17, 2018, the Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing on “The Opioid Crisis: The Current Landscape and CMS Actions to Prevent Opioid Misuse.”
7 Bipartisan Bills Approved by the Committee on May 16, 2018:
- We are improving education and best practices for providers and patients through H.R. 5774, the “Combatting Opioid Abuse for Care in Hospitals (COACH) Act,” authored by Ways and Means Members Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA).
- We are increasing educational resources for Medicare patients through H.R. 5775, the “Providing Reliable Options for Patients and Educational Resources (PROPER) Act,” authored by Ways and Means Members Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
- We are increasing access to treatment in Medicare for those suffering from opioid use disorder through H.R. 5776, the “Medicare and Opioid Safe Treatment (MOST) Act,” authored by Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) and Rep. George Holding (R-NC).
- We are increasing program integrity and resources for beneficiaries through H.R. 5773, the “Preventing Addiction for Susceptible Seniors (PASS) Act,” authored by Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL).
- We are stopping fraud and abuse in the Medicare system through H.R. 5676, the “Stop Excessive Narcotics in our Retirement (SENIOR) Communities Protection Act,” authored by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Ways and Means Member Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
- We are improving accountability and measuring the success of these programs through H.R. 5723, the “Expanding Oversight of Opioid Prescribing and Payment Act,” authored by Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Ways and Means Member Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA).
- We are taking steps to stop the flow of synthetic opioids in the international mail system through H.R. 5788, the “Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2018,” authored by Ways and Means Members Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). The House passed this bill last week and it now awaits action in the Senate.
1 Goal: To Help America Overcome this Crisis
As Chairman Brady stressed last week, there is still a long way to go, but we are making meaningful strides to help fight the opioid crisis:
“The opioid epidemic reaches every community in the United States and requires an unprecedented response. Working on a bipartisan basis, eight separate committees in the House put forward solutions so that we can overcome this crisis together. I applaud the work of the House as we focus on prevention, treatment and recovery, and the protection of our communities. We have a long way to go, but we are taking meaningful strides this week and next that will help millions of Americans take back control of their lives.”