Senate Finance Committee releases 22 opioid bills to mark up in ‘coming weeks’

Senate Finance Committee releases 22 opioid bills to mark up in ‘coming weeks’
© Tomas Nevesely/iStock/Thinkstock Photos

The Senate Finance Committee released 22 bipartisan bills aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic, with plans to mark up the legislation in the “coming weeks,” the panel announced Wednesday.

The legislation is aimed at tackling the epidemic through the committee’s jurisdiction, mainly in Medicare, Medicaid and human services.

The Finance Committee is one of several panels working on legislation aimed at stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic, which is contributing to an estimated 115 American deaths per day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Through stakeholder input, hearings, and other member engagement, our committee has spent the first half of the year examining potential solutions to help curb the opioid crisis plaguing our nation,” the panel’s chairman, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenate panel to hold hearing next week for Trump IRS nominee On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs MORE (R-Utah), and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenScrutiny ramps up over Commerce secretary's stock moves Hillicon Valley: Justices require warrants for cellphone location data | Amazon employees protest facial recognition tech sales | Uber driver in fatal crash was streaming Hulu | SpaceX gets contract to launch spy satellite On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests MORE (Ore.), the committee’s top Democrat, said in a joint statement. They called the release of the bills a “significant step in the committee’s legislative process.”

One such bill is aimed at requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to provide guidance to states on telehealth reimbursement in the Medicaid program, which provides health coverage to lower income and disabled Americans. There’s also legislation aimed at expanding the use of telehealth services for opioid addiction.

Another requires Medicare beneficiaries to be screened for an addiction during their annual wellness visits and for any current opioid prescriptions to be reviewed.

Last month, the Senate Health Committee sent its bipartisan bill to the chamber’s floor. The House plans to vote on opioid legislation from the Energy and Commerce Committee in June, and the House Ways and Means Committee has also released bipartisan legislation.