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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios 

The House is voting on dozens of bills to address rampant opioid addiction— an issue that unifies lawmakers and voters like no other, and is often deeply personal.

The big picture: This epidemic is touching more and more of us: More than 40% of millennials personally know someone who has dealt with an opioid addiction, according to an NBC News/GenForward poll out Friday.

  • But Washington is still playing catch-up. Many of the changes being made by Congress and the administration are meaningful, but experts say there’s still far more to be done, especially on treating addiction.

What Congress is doing: Funding for the epidemic has drastically increased in recent years — the most recent spending bill dedicated about $4 billion to the crisis. But there are other policy changes are underway, including those being voted on in the House this month:

  • One would get rid of a ban on federal Medicaid funding for mental health treatment facilities with more than 16 beds. That might be the most significant change.
  • Some bills also create new prescription opioid policies,like requiring the Food and Drug Administration to work with drug companies on ways to return or destroy unused opioids.
  • Another proposal would allow more providers to use buprenorphine, a type of medication-assisted therapy.
  • To crack down on imported fentanyl, the House passed a bill that gives the FDA more authority to seize fentanyl arriving through international mail.

What Congress isn’t doing: Experts say states need more money over a longer period, and that the country's overall treatment infrastructure needs a significant upgrade, as most of the country is ill-equipped to deal with the epidemic.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.

Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to use a $908 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief framework as a basis for jumpstarting negotiations.

Why it matters: The framework, introduced by a group of bipartisan senators on Tuesday, calls for significantly less funding than Pelosi had previously demanded — a sign that Democrats are ready to further compromise as millions of Americans endure economic hardship.

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