June 07,2018

Press Contact:

202-224-4515, Katie Niederee and Nicole Hager

Hatch, Wyden Announce Markup of Legislation to Address Opioid Epidemic in Medicare, Medicaid & Human Services

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today announced the committee will markup the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018, which seeks to improve Medicare, Medicaid and human services programs’ response to the opioid crisis. The markup will take place on June 12 at 2 p.m. in 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building. The markup will occur at the start of the previously scheduled nominations hearing

“Given the role that Medicare, Medicaid and human services programs play in our health care system, Ranking Member Wyden and I have been committed to exploring how to improve these programs to better address substance use disorders,” Hatch said. “After receiving stakeholder feedback, convening a hearing, and getting input from members, I am proud of this bipartisan package we have put together, which reflects committee member priorities and will make meaningful progress to helping address the serious challenges opioids and other illicit drugs can cause. I look forward to convening this markup – an important step toward these policies becoming law.” 

“Congress needs to take real and lasting action to confront the opioid epidemic that’s devastating communities across the country,” Wyden said. “This markup demonstrates the growing bipartisan will to combat substance use disorders like opioid misuse, and marks a critical step towards tackling this crisis. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Finance Committee to implement policy solutions that will help Americans and their loved ones struggling with addiction.” 

The HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018 would:

  • Ensure Medicare and Medicaid provide beneficiaries better education, prevention, management and treatment options for pain and addiction;
  • Support states in developing effective family-focused treatment options and help reunite parents with children more quickly if they must be placed in foster care;
  • Increase Medicare beneficiary awareness of non-opioid alternative treatments, increase treatment for substance use disorder and improve tracking of opioid prescriptions under Medicare Part D; and
  • Expand and clarify Medicaid’s options for treating beneficiaries suffering from addiction and improve data used to evaluate approaches that address opioid use.  



Senate Finance Committee


Opioid Legislation Markup  


215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510


June 12, 2018

2 p.m.


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 healthcare system, including Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP. 

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