Legislative Hearings on Opioid Crisis to Focus on Law Enforcement, Public Health

Hearings
House Republicans will hold a series of hearings on addressing the opioid crisis, with a focus on law enforcement, public health and insurance coverage, according to The Wall Street Journal. The first hearing, by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will be held on February 28. The bills to be considered are likely to require additional funding from Congress, the article notes. One bill under consideration would make it easier for certain derivatives of synthetic drugs to be categorized as controlled substances. Another bill would ensure that doctors can get details of a patient’s past substance use if consent is given. Under one piece of legislation, in-home hospice providers would be permitted to destroy remaining opioids after a patient dies. Another proposed bill would increase use of prescription drug monitoring programs, and would make it easier for states to share data on opioid use and overdose deaths.
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ACA Repeal Could Reduce Coverage for Addiction Treatment

ACA Repeal Could Reduce Coverage for Addiction Treatment
People with addiction and mental health disorders and their treatment providers are worried that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could reduce insurance coverage for these disorders, USA Today reports. Almost 30 percent of people who received coverage through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion have a mental disorder or a substance use disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Partially repealing ACA would do away with Medicaid expansion, and would most likely replace it with block grants that would require states to make cuts in what is covered, how much is spent and how many people can receive coverage. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat, said President-Elect Trump “pledged to take on this crisis, not immediately make matters much worse. Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement is highly reckless and will come at a high cost for people struggling with substance use disorders.”...
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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