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On the Hill: Congress Refocuses on the Opioid Epidemic

Congressional hearings this week will focus on fighting the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Feb. 28 will hold the first of three hearings to review eight bills on enforcement-related measures to combat the opioid crisis. Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) hopes to pass opioid legislation in the House by Memorial Day weekend.

In the Senate, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are drafting a new version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which was passed in 2016. The new bill would provide funding for certain prevention and treatment programs, using part of the $6 billion appropriated to combat opioids and provide mental health care under the recently passed budget deal.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Health, Education. Labor, and Pensions also will hold a Feb. 27 hearing on the opioid crisis, focusing on the role of technology and data in preventing opioid addition.


About the Author

Erin Delaney is a former legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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