Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., todayapplauded Senate passage of a package of 70 bipartisan bills to tackle the nation’s growing opioid crisis, including bills Wyden led through the Senate Finance Committee, where he is the ranking Democrat.
“As the opioid epidemic continues to reach further into the hearts of communities and families in Oregon and across the country, this legislation represents an important step towards alleviating the devastation left behind by this disease,” Wyden said.“Congress has an ongoing obligation to take on the roots of the crisis and ensure treatment, prevention and enforcement efforts are all as robust as possible, and this bill is a strong start. I will work to ensure these policies become law and begin to help those who are suffering as soon as possible.”
The Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA) includes policies from the Wyden-led Helping to End Addition and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018. The HEAL Act was introduced to the Senate Finance Committee by Wyden in June, and passed unanimously.
The HEAL Act contains key reforms to family services, Medicare and Medicaid programs in order to address the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis.
The legislation will now be negotiated with a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year.
A section by section summary of the bill can be found here.