June 12,2018

Press Contact:

Katie Niederee (Hatch)


Taylor Harvey (Wyden)


Finance Committee Advances Legislation to Address Opioid Epidemic

Committee Unanimously Approves the HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018

WASHINGTON – The Senate Finance Committee today advanced the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018 unanimously. The legislation seeks to improve how Medicare, Medicaid and human services programs respond to the opioid crisis. 

“This strong, bipartisan legislation makes meaningful progress toward addressing the opioid crisis facing our nation,” Hatch said. “Medicare and Medicaid provide more than one third of all health care in America, and the HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act makes much-needed reforms to address opioids and other substance use disorders for beneficiaries and families in these programs. In a time of great political divide, I am pleased we could come together to craft legislation to address such a critical issue.” 

“Today is an important milestone as Congress works to bring relief to the millions of American families suffering from the consequences of substance misuse,” Wyden said. “Reporting this legislation out of the Finance Committee on a bipartisan basis is the product of hard work and dedication from all members of the committee, who have been steadfast in their commitment to finding meaningful solutions that will combat the opioid epidemic.” 

The chairman’s modified mark can be found here.

Toomey #2 and Brown #3 amendments were adopted.

More information about the markup can be found here

In February, Hatch and Wyden requested feedback on how to improve the response to the opioid epidemic in Medicare, Medicaid and human services programs. The full letter can be found here. In April, Hatch and Wyden convened a hearing to examine how to tackle opioid and substance use disorders. Additionally, the Bipartisan Budget Act included Hatch and Wyden’s Family First legislation and funding for early childhood home visiting programs to help address the opioid epidemic. Last month, the leaders praised the introduction of 22 bipartisan bills by Finance Committee members. 

The Senate Finance Committee, the committee with the largest jurisdiction in either house of Congress, oversees more than 50 percent of the federal budget and has jurisdiction over large portions of the American health care system, including Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP. 

For media inquiries and additional information, including webcast and testimony details, please visit: http://finance.senate.gov/hearings.