Senate Votes on Final Passage of Opioid Package

The Senate passed the final version of a sweeping opioids package Wednesday afternoon in a 98-1 vote and will now send the legislation to the President's Desk for a final signature. The Senate had passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act, sending the bill to the House for a vote. The House amended the package, sending it back to the Senate for final approval. 

Many in Washington described the passage as a landmark legislative victory. "It is one of Congress’s most significant legislative achievements this year, a rare bipartisan response to a growing public health crisis that resulted in 72,000 drug-overdose deaths last year." 

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) worked closely with Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) on much of the bipartisan package. He said of the bill, " It will help reduce the influx of deadly illegal drugs at the border, like fentanyl, extend support for Medicaid patients seeking treatment for substance use disorders from 15 to 30 days, help increase services for babies born in opioid withdrawal, help our state reach out and intervene early in the lives of Tennessee children who have experienced trauma, and speed up the development of new non-addictive painkillers."

NRHA has continuously supported key legislation that would help to fix the funding formula for opioid programs, increase access to care, improve recovery resources, and decrease stigma. We are happy to see that many of the bills that we have long fought for are included as pieces of this larger legislation. This is critical for the rural and Tribal communities that need tools to fight this epidemic.

Read our full analysis of the legislation prior to the original Senate vote here

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