Congress will continue work this week on a flurry of opioid-related bills in an effort to finalize a legislative package by the end of May. Members of both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are expected to devote the next three weeks of the congressional session to the consideration – and possible advancement – of multiple opioid measures.

In the Senate, lawmakers on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee considered sweeping opioid measures last month. The Senate bill, S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, would reauthorize funding outlined in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255), which passed into law in 2016 with NACo’s support. The proposal also contains measures that would expand the ability of federal agencies to respond to the opioid epidemic, with an emphasis on research, treatment, recovery and prevention activities.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health last month considered 34 separate bills to address the opioid crisis via changes to Medicaid and Medicare. Most of the proposals were ultimately approved by the subcommittee and are slated to be considered during a full committee markup on May 9.

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