TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the bipartisan H.R. 6, the “Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.” The Chamber will consider including votes related to this bill in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
The opioid epidemic is ravaging families and destroying the lives of thousands each year, and it is crippling communities’ and employers’ efforts to staff workforce needs, create new jobs, and expand commerce.
We applaud Congress for crafting comprehensive legislation to tackle the myriad of causes, such as the flood of illicit drugs into the United States, while removing a litany of barriers that inhibit prevention, recovery, and treatment options.
The Chamber is pleased that H.R. 6 does not include the end stage renal disease (ESRD) provision included in an earlier version of the bill. That policy would have burdened employers already struggling to provide robust health benefits with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional health care costs.
While H.R. 6 is important, more remains to be done. The Chamber urges Congress to address the 42 CFR Part 2 statute as hundreds of health care organizations have called for. Congress should align currently conflicting protections and allow providers access to a patient’s entire medical record, including substance use disorder information, at a patient’s request.
We urge you to support H.R. 6.
Suzanne P. Clark