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WASHINGTON, D.C. – To strengthen our country’s approach to combating the opioid epidemic and address some critical shortcomings, including the Administration’s unwillingness to make a long-term investment in the fight, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today helped introduce the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act.

“I’ve heard firsthand about how the opioid and heroin epidemic is devastating families and entire communities across Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “Washington must step up to be a stronger partner in this fight by investing in local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. Our legislation is a commonsense, bipartisan-based solution to address the national opioid crisis with stable, long-term support that will strengthen state and local resources.”

Senator Baldwin is joining Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) today in introducing this legislation to invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids. This is the same number proposed by Senate Republicans earlier this summer.

The Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act Would:

Authorize and appropriate $4,474,800,000 for substance abuse 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, and 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 abuse, 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 abuse 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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