AHIP Commends Congress And The Administration For Passing Comprehensive Legislation To Address The Opioid Epidemic

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement following passage of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018:

“Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old. The impact of the opioid crisis is profound, and the causes are complex and multifaceted. That’s why real solutions require collaboration from all industry stakeholders.

“We commend Congress and the Administration for enacting this comprehensive legislative package that addresses so many aspects of the opioid crisis. By authorizing grants to support comprehensive opioid treatment centers and expanding the use of telemedicine, this legislation will promote innovative treatment paths to support those on the way to recovery. The package also takes important steps to crack down and penalize entities who seek to take advantage of a crisis by exploiting vulnerable patients for financial gain, such as fraudulent “sober homes.”

“We also appreciate that Congress did not include policies that would raise costs for consumers, businesses, and taxpayers. We should not raise health costs for businesses by shifting costs for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) from Medicare to employer-provided coverage; and we should not raise premiums and costs for seniors and taxpayers by reducing responsibility for drug makers in the Part D donut hole.

“While this legislation marks a new starting point in addressing the opioid epidemic, more must be done, Regulations and privacy rules, such as 42 CFR Part 2, should be modernized. We are committed to working with doctors, hospitals, the mental health community, and leaders at every level of government.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Congress and the Administration to implement the safest, most proven, and most effective policies that both help people manage pain and reduce opioid addiction in America.”

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