House Ways and Means Committee Advances Opioid Bills
On Wednesday, May 16, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced four opioid crisis-related packages. The bipartisan measures, which are expected to move with other House bills under consideration, largely focus on combating the epidemic through strengthened prevention, provider and beneficiary education, and treatment options.
During the markup, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) did not offer an exact date for bill consideration by the full chamber. However, he expressed his commitment to “working together to move these important proposals to the House floor in the weeks ahead.”
The following bills were each approved by voice vote:
- H.R. 5773, Preventing Addiction for Susceptible Seniors (PASS) Act (H.R. 5773), authored by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) – requires Medicare prescription drug plans to establish management programs for at-risk beneficiaries.
- H.R. 5774, Combatting Opioid Abuse for Care in Hospitals (COACH) Act(H.R. 5774), authored by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) – directs hospitals receiving Medicare Part A funding to develop guidance for treating pain and opioid use disorders.
- H.R. 5775, Providing Reliable Options for Patients and Educational Resources (PROPER) Act (H.R. 5775), authored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) – requires Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans to offer educational resources on opioid-related risks.
- H.R. 5776, Medicare and Opioid Safe Treatment (MOST) Act (H.R. 5776), authored by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) – orders Medicare to cover a variety of opioid treatment services.
On Thursday, May 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) will hold a markup to consider a second batch of bills related to the opioid crisis. The proposals are anticipated to solicit somewhat contentious debates and include provisions related to public health, Medicare Part B and D programs, and Medicaid.