WASHINGTON, DC– It has nearly been one year from the date President Donald Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law. The SUPPORT Act stands as the single largest congressional effort to tackle a drug epidemic. Phil Mattingly, a CNN Congressional Correspondent, highlighted how the bipartisan bill is helping combat the opioid crisis.
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Here’s Mattingly on the SUPPORT Act:
By one estimate, more than 130 people die every day in America after overdosing on opioids. Now it’s been almost a year since President Trump signed into law a sweeping bipartisan proposal aimed at tackling the opioid crisis. Now this expansive bill expanded access to treatment and prevention programs and it tried to curb how often drugs are prescribed. The bill also gave states more flexibility in their approach to the crisis.
More work to be done:
The SUPPORT Act continues to provide assistance on multiple fronts to tackle the opioid crisis. Although there was recent good news that showed the number of deaths from this epidemic may be decreasing, there is still much more work to be done. Here’s three things:
- Reform 42 CFR Part 2: Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposal to reform substance use disorder confidentiality law (42 CFR Part 2). This proposal is welcomed but to ultimately fix this problem the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act must be passed. The goal of the reform is to provide the most effective care by ensuring the best treatment is being given to patients suffering from a substance use disorder without compromising patient privacy.
- Pass the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act of 2017: Last Congress, the House passed Rep. John Katko’s SITSA Actwith a 239-142 vote. This bill is designed to provide tools to law enforcement to aid in getting illicit synthetic drugs out of communities. Unfortunately, this bill did not clear the Senate. This needs to be reintroduced and taken up by both chambers.
- Continue investigations: The Energy and Commerce Committee needs to continue bipartisan investigations into the bad actors who fuel the opioid crisis and the effectiveness of current efforts to combat the epidemic. Last Congress, under the leadership of Chairman Walden the committee conducted numerous investigations into opioid manufacturers, alleged pill dumping, patient brokering and more. Investigations help craft legislation to address the opioid crisis in the most effective way while also learning how to prevent another crisis like this from harming communities.