ASAM is committed to improving access to high-quality, evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment through our national advocacy efforts.

National Advocacy

Working closely with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and leaders in the Administration, we advocate for policies that promote a stronger addiction treatment workforce, standardize the delivery of individualized addiction treatment, and ensure equitable access and coverage for comprehensive, high-quality addiction care.

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TEACH addiction medicine by expanding and strengthening our workforce and dispelling stigma.

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STANDARDIZE the delivery of individualized addiction treatment so that more patients receive high-quality, evidence-based care.
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COVER addiction medicine in a way that expands patient access to comprehensive, high-quality addiction care.
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Other Policy Areas include a wide range prevention efforts and research of substance-related problems.

ASAM Joins with Coalition to Support Expanded Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Enforcement

by | Sep 13, 2021

On September 10th, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), along with dozens of partner organizations, sent a letter to Chair Patty Murray of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) urging for the inclusion of enhanced mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) parity enforcement within the Senate’s version of the budget reconciliation proposal. These enhanced enforcement measures would authorize the Department of Labor to assess civil monetary penalties against insurers that violate the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

 

The letter noted that the House Education and Labor Committee included parity enforcement language in section 21005 of their own budget reconciliation proposal. Additionally, the Education and Labor Committee dedicated $195 million over five years to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) for enforcement. The letter also highlighted how these enhanced enforcement capabilities would close gaps in the implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating inequities in mental health and SUD coverage and treatment. Reflective of bipartisan support on this issue, both the Obama Administration’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders and the Trump Administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis identified enhanced parity enforcement by the Department of Labor as a critical mechanism to ensure that the country’s mental health and SUD treatment needs are met.   

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