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Republican and Democratic lawmakers from the House and Senate released their final opioids package last night, bridging the differences between bills the two chambers passed previously.
The big picture: This is a big bill and there are provisions in here that public health experts believe will make a difference.
- But those same experts say Washington still needs to make substantial investments — of money as well as policymaking energy — in the treatment system for mental health and substance abuse, in order to bring this crisis under control.
What's next: Both chambers are expected to pass the agreement quickly, sending it to President Trump for his signature in a matter of days.
The details: The bill is about the same as what we reported previously, and would...
- Temporarily lift a cap on Medicaid payments for large treatment facilities. States can allow those facilities to receive Medicaid funding, on a limited basis, for all substance abuse treatment.
- Allow more health care providers to prescribe medication-assisted therapies.
The pharmaceutical industry didn't get the Medicare "fix" it had been lobbying for.
Go deeper: Read the bill.