5 things to know about next week's vote on opioid bills

The House will vote next week on legislation to combat the opioid crisis, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said June 6, according to The Hill.

"This epidemic is destroying America, the fiber of who we are," Mr. McCarthy said as he announced the votes. "It will take us two weeks to finish this process, but at the end of the day we'll continue to make America safer and more secure and more prosperous."

Five things to know:

1. The chamber will vote on dozens of bills over the two-week period. A number of the bills address minor issues when standing alone, but seek to fight the nationwide issue of opioid overdoses in several ways.

2. One measure would lift certain limits on Medicaid paying for care at treatment facilities for opioid-addicted patients, known as the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases exclusion. The IMD exclusion does not let federal Medicaid funds be used for care provided to most patients in mental health and substance use disorder treatment facilities that exceed 16 beds.

3. Certain Democrats argue money could be better spent on alternative options to having patients stay in overnight treatment facilities, but it is not clear how much the measure will cost, The Hill reported.

4. The final list of bills to receive votes has not been released, but most of the measures the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved are anticipated to be considered in the next two weeks, in addition to measures from other panels.

5. The House also may consider legislation on promoting research on nonaddictive painkillers, requiring electronic prescribing and giving authorities new tools to intercept illicit opioids imports.  

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