House overwhelmingly passes bill to fight opioid crisis

House overwhelmingly passes bill to fight opioid crisis
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The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed legislation meant to fight the opioid epidemic, a moment of bipartisanship amid a series of fierce partisan battles.

The bill, which passed 393-8, is the product of months of work in both chambers. The Senate is expected to soon send the measure to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE’s desk.

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The legislation includes a range of measures aimed at fighting the deadly opioid crisis, which killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bill lifts some limits on Medicaid paying for care at addiction treatment facilities, addressing restrictions that lawmakers called outdated. It cracks down on illicit opioids being imported by mail and fueling the crisis across the United States.

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

“If this legislation can save one life, bring help to one person, that is what matters,” said Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGaetz tells CPAC he won't take PAC money Paul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney's impeachment vote Trump doubles down on Neil Cavuto attacks: 'Will he get the same treatment as' Shep Smith? MORE (R-Wis.). “It's going to do far more than that.”

Several GOP lawmakers in tough reelection races spoke out in support of the measure and touted provisions they sponsored that were included in the bill, something that they can tout on the campaign trail.

Democrats praised the bill as a good first step but said that more needs to be done, including more funding.

“This bill is an important step, but we must do a lot more. The opioid crisis continues to get worse, a lot more needs to be done to provide treatment and expand the treatment infrastructure,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Obstacles remain for deal on surprise medical bills This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “And more resources are needed to support the families and communities impacted by this crisis.”

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBloomberg: 'I'm going to stay right to the bitter end' of Democratic primary race The Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Sanders holds 13-point lead in Fox News poll MORE (D-Mass.), for example, has a bill to provide $100 billion to fight the crisis over 10 years, which she says is closer to what is necessary to truly address the crisis.

Friday’s bill comes after the government funding bill increased anti-opioid funding up to $3.8 billion this year.