October 25, 2017

Shaheen, Hassan Join Colleagues to Unveil Legislation to Invest $45 Billion to Address Opioid Crisis

**Senators call on President Trump and Congress to support bill, join in securing resources for struggling communities**

**Senators’ bill does not decimate Medicaid or serve as replacement for coverage** 

(Washington, DC) – Today, to address a number of critical shortcomings of our nation’s approach to combating the opioid epidemic, including the Administration’s unwillingness to make a long-term investment in the fight, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined 13 of their Democratic colleagues in introducing the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act. This legislation would invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids. This is the same number proposed by Senate Republicans earlier this summer.

“The opioid epidemic is ravaging communities all across the country and calls for aggressive action by Congress and the federal government to turn the tide,” said Shaheen. “This bill represents a significant long-term federal commitment to support the tremendous efforts of our local first-responders and treatment providers and invest in critical research. This assistance can’t come soon enough and I hope Republican leadership will soon prioritize this funding for what is a national health emergency.”

“The fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic continues to take a massive toll on communities across New Hampshire and the United States, and we must do more to get resources to those on the front lines combatting this crisis,” Hassan said. “The funding in this bill, which matches previous Republican proposals, is an important next step in strengthening our response to the epidemic. However, Congress should not undermine the benefit of any new funding with the Medicaid cuts included in the Republican budgets, which would severely hurt our efforts to combat this crisis. We also know that we will ultimately need far more funding beyond this measure over the years to come to truly address this crisis, and I will continue to fight to ensure that we strengthen prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts to help stem the tide of this epidemic.”

This Legislation Would:

-      Authorize and appropriate $4,474,800,000 for substance misuse programs for the individual states for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

-      Build upon bipartisanship by adding this funding to the Account for the State Response to the Opioid Abuse Crisis, which was created by the 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the Senate with 94 votes.

-      Expand the use of funding already allowed under 21st Century Cures, so that states may also use this money for detection, surveillance and treatment of co-occurring infections, as well as for surveillance, data collection and reporting on the number of opioid overdose deaths.

-      Promote research on addiction and pain related to substance misuse, and authorizes and appropriates $50,400,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2022. Under the bill, the National Institutes of Health would be responsible for distributing this money.

-      Provide stable, long-term funding, a total of $45 billion over ten years to the states and over five years to research efforts. This is similar to the stable, long-term investment that Senate Republicans proposed as a response to the opioid emergency.

-      Not replace coverage for treatment under Medicaid or the treatment requirements for private insurance in the Affordable Care Act. Both of these remain critical for combating the opioid epidemic.

This Legislation Has Been Endorsed By:

-      American Psychiatric Association

-      American Society of Addiction Medicine

-      Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose

-      International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA)

-      National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

-      National Association of County and City Health Officials

-      National Association of Social Workers

-      National Council for Behavioral Health

-      National Health Care for the Homeless Council

-      National Safety Council

-      Treatment Communities of America

-      Young People in Recovery

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