You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Senate sends bipartisan package to fight opioid epidemic to Trump's desk

The Hill logo The Hill 10/3/2018 Peter Sullivan

© Provided by The Hill

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill aimed at fighting the opioid crisis, sending the measure to President Trump's desk.

The Upper Chamber passed the bill by a vote of 98-1, capping months of work on the measure and gaining a bipartisan achievement in the midst of a fiercely partisan battle over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was the only senator to oppose the bill.

The 660-page bill includes a range of measures aimed at fighting the opioid addiction crisis.

the legislation lifts some limits, which lawmakers called outdated, on Medicaid paying for care at addiction treatment facilities. It cracks down on illicit opioids being imported by mail from other countries and fueling the epidemic.

The legislation also lifts limits on nurse practitioners and other providers being able to prescribe the addiction treatment drug buprenorphine.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the bill is "set to deliver major relief to the American communities that have been decimated by the scourge of substance abuse and addiction."

He called the bill "a landmark package that will deliver critical resources to establish opioid-specific recovery centers and equip local medical practitioners."

More than 42,000 people were killed by opioids in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the House, Republican incumbents in tough reelection races touted their work on the bill, while in the Senate more Democratic incumbents lauded the progress.

For example, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who faces a tough race in a state President Trump won handily in 2016, praised the bill from the Senate floor Wednesday and pointed to the inclusion of provisions he worked on.

Some Democrats say the bill is a good first step but more work still needs to be done, including more funding.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), for example, has a bill to provide $100 billion to fight the crisis over 10 years, saying a larger, more sustained investment is necessary.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From The Hill

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon