In the News
- FY 2017 Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill Clears Senate Appropriations Committee
- House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce holds markup on H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act
- UnitedHealth Group solidifies plans to exit health insurance marketplaces
- AP report suggests increased amount of banks and credit unions working with marijuana-related businesses
- S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee leaders submit letter to CMS calling for increased data transparency
Around the Agencies
- CDC FY 2015 grant funding profiles now available
- SAMHSA releases applications for FY 2016 Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency grant program
News from NASADAD
- NASADAD sends thank you letter to AMA for work with NGA
- NASADAD Presents to Joint NACo/League of Cities Task Force on Opioid Epidemic
- Community Catalyst announces informative call on the intersections between health and housing for vulnerable populations
In the News
FY 2017 Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill Clears Senate Appropriations Committee
After clearing the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, on April 21st the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a $56.3 billion spending bill for programs related to national security, law enforcement, and scientific innovation. This is $563 million more than FY 2016 and $1.6 billion more than the President’s request. The bill was approved by the Committee with a vote of 30-0.
Some of the highlights for programs within the Department of Justice (DOJ) include:
- $2.36 billion for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs, which includes grants for State law enforcement and juvenile justice programs;
- $384 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG), which is a $92 million dollar cut compared to FY 2016. However, the FY 2016 appropriations included a $100 million carve out to cover extra costs of security at the two presidential nominating conventions. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s recommendation is $500,000 higher than the President’s request for FY 2017;
- $43 million in support for Drug Courts, a $1 million increase in funding for FY 2017 compared to FY 2016;
- $6 million for Veterans Treatment Courts, which is level funding compared to FY 2016;
- $75 million for Second Chance Act grants to reduce recidivism for adults released from jail by offering substance abuse treatment, employment assistance, and other rehabilitation services. This is a $7 million increase in funding for FY 2017 compared to FY 2016, and $25 million less than the President’s request;
- $10 million for Community Oriented Policing Systems (COPS) Office Anti-Heroin Task Forces grants;
- $7 million for COPS Office Anti-Methamphetamine Task Forces grants; and
- $410 million increase in funding for FY 2017 for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) compared to FY 2016.
- Includes $12.5 million for four new heroin enforcement squads within the DEA.
A summary of proposed funding levels and a comparison to FY 2016 levels is attached here.
House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce holds markup on H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act
On April 20th the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health within the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a markup of twelve bills related to opioid use disorders, including H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act. The subcommittee is led by Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).
H.R. 3691 would reauthorize the residential services for pregnant and postpartum women program (PPW) grant program within SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). The bill would also create a pilot program for State substance abuse agencies to use up to 25 percent of funds for services to pregnant and parenting women in non-residential settings. The purpose of the pilot program is to fill gaps in family-centered services across the continuum of care. A section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here.
During the markup, Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), who introduced H.R. 3691 in October of 2015, spoke about the pervasiveness of addiction, including in his own district, and the importance of increasing access to treatment for women. Chairman Pitts also expressed support of the bill, especially the provision to provide family-based treatment services.
Other proposed legislation considered during the markup were:
- R. 4641, To provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes
- R. 3680, Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of 2015
- R. 1818, Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act
- R. 3250, DXM Abuse Prevention Act
- R. 4969, John Thomas Decker Act of 2016
- R. 4586, Lali’s Law
- R. 4599, Reducing Unused Medications Act of 2016
- R. 4978, Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act
- R. 4976, Opioid Review Modernization Act
- Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act
- Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016
All of the bills are being considered by the full Committee on Energy and Commerce this week. NASADAD will continue to track relevant legislation and provide updates to membership.
UnitedHealth Group solidifies plans to exit health insurance marketplaces
UnitedHealth Group has solidified plans to exit the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, announcing their intention to stop service in nearly 34 States. CEO Stephen Hemsley states that the overall market size and high risk of health insurance marketplaces prevents UnitedHealth Group from continuing to serve public exchanges. The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report asserting that, if UnitedHealth Group were to leave all 1,855 counties where it currently participates, “29% of the counties would be left with just one marketplace insurer and another 29% would be left with just two.” The report goes on to caution that areas with limited insurer availability may not realize the cost savings seen in regions with a larger number of insurers.
Read UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley’s statement here.
Read the Kaiser Family Foundation report here.
AP report suggests increased amount of banks and credit unions working with marijuana-related businesses
An Associated Press (AP) report released last week finds that the number of banks and credit unions working with marijuana-related businesses has increased from 51 in March 2014 to 301 in March 2016 according to federal data. Marijuana businesses have experienced barriers in response to federal regulations constricting their ability to store money in banks, leading many retailers to work with local credit unions instead of larger banking institutions. Credit card companies remain wary of accepting marijuana-related transactions in fear of federal liability. These restrictions have forced many businesses to only accept cash, in turn requiring revenue departments in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon to prepare for large cash deposits by increasing security.
Read the full article here.
U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee leaders submit letter to CMS calling for increased data transparency
Leaders from the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means submitted a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last week calling for increased mental health data transparency. The letter specifically calls for CMS to publish more data about the mental health of Medicare beneficiaries in order for health care providers to better address the needs of seniors, while still maintaining patient privacy. Ways and Means leaders assert that increased transparency will allow Congress to make better decisions related to the mental health of Medicare beneficiaries. Leaders from both parties signed the letter, including Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA).
Read the full letter here.
Around the Agencies
CDC FY 2015 grant funding profiles now available
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released FY 2015 grant funding profiles last week. The funding profiles provide summaries of CDC cooperative agreement and grant funding programs to States, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia after close out of the fiscal year. Funding profiles are sortable by funding opportunity announcement, funding source, geography, and recipient type and name – and include a number of substance use disorder related grant programs.
Access the grant funding profiles here.
SAMHSA releases applications for FY 2016 Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency grant program
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released applications for the Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency grant program last week. The program is administered with the help of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). The Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency Grant Program provides funding for the development of increased cross-system collaboration, peer workforce expansion, and increased treatment infrastructure for substance use disorders. The grant program will award up to eight awards of approximately $100,000 for a one year period. Applications are due by Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
Access the full application here.
News from NASADAD
NASADAD sends thank you letter to AMA for work with NGA
NASADAD sent a letter to the American Medical Association (AMA) last week expressing gratitude for their statement on the opioid crisis released in collaboration with the National Governors Association (NGA). The AMA and NGA released a statement about the opioid crisis in February 2016, calling for increased investment in prescription drug monitoring programs, increased substance use disorder training for health professionals, and expanded access to naloxone. NASADAD’s letter thanks both organizations for their work in this area and affirms NASADAD’s support for the recommendations outlined in the joint letter, especially with regard to closing the treatment gap. NASADAD’s letter is attached to this email.
Read the joint AMA/NGA statement here.
NASADAD Presents to Joint NACo/League of Cities Task Force on Opioid Epidemic
On April 7th, Robert Morrison, NASADAD’s Executive Director, presented to the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic – a panel made up of representatives from the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National League of Cities (NLC). The event was the first gathering for the panel. The 24 member Task Force is led by co-chairs Judge Gary Moore of Boone County, Kentucky and Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, Arkansas. The panel hopes to encourage further collaboration at the local level and generate recommendations for federal policy makers to consider to help local governments address the opioid crisis. Robert Morrison educated the Task Force regarding the publicly funded prevention, treatment and recovery system; the benefits of collaborating with State alcohol/drug authority directors; and the need to ensure that any plan and initiative includes a commitment to primary prevention. The Task Force includes Greg Puckett, Commissioner in Mercer County, West Virginia, who described his work as a lead of a community anti-drug coalition. Finally, Morrison encouraged the Task Force to not only engage in actions focused on opioids, but to consider actions that would address addiction in general.
Learn more about the Task Force here.
Community Catalyst announces informative call on the intersections between health and housing for vulnerable populations
Community Catalyst has announced a new informative call discussing the intersections between health and housing for vulnerable populations. The call will examine current policies and research involving housing and feature presentations from several stakeholders. Community Catalyst recognizes an opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders and other organizations in the social justice movement so support the work of healthcare advocates working to expand access to housing. The call will be held on Wednesday, May 11th from 1-2:30 PM EST.
RSVP for the call here.
Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Shalini Wickramatilake-Templeman, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.