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Bipartisan Opioid Task Force Announces 2020 Legislative Agenda

February 27, 2020

 ASAM board member Kelly Clark and Representative Ann Kuster

On February 27, the U.S. House of Representatives' Bipartisan Opioid Task Force released its agenda for this legislative session. The agenda contains legislation covering a wide array of topics, from prevention and treatment to workforce development, criminal justice reform, and law enforcement. ASAM was pleased to see that the agenda addresses many of the themes from the separate testimonies of ASAM board members Dr. Margaret Jarvis and Dr. Kelly Clark provided at roundtables hosted by the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, such as the need for a far greater financial investment in demand-reduction interventions and the need for bold policy changes that meet the scale of the opioid crisis and rapidly mainstream evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment across America.


The agenda also includes vital pieces of legislation such as the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act (H.R.4974), which would require all DEA controlled medication prescribers to have a baseline knowledge of how to prevent, identify, treat, and manage patients with addiction, and the Opioid Workforce Act (H.R.2439), which would provide an additional 1,000 Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots to qualifying hospitals with approved programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, pain medicine, and corresponding prerequisite programs. Finally, along with many other pieces of legislation, the agenda contains the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (H.R.2482), legislation that ASAM believes should be passed after or Dr. Margaret Jarvis (second from left)concurrent with the passage of the MATE Act, which would eliminate what would then be a clearly redundant requirement that practitioners apply for a separate DEA waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for addiction treatment, along with the waiver’s patient limits and extra regulatory burdens.


Read more about the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force's 2020 legislative agenda here.


Read more about Dr. Jarvis' testimony here.


Read more about Dr. Clark's testimony here.