News in Brief

Opioid legislation is headed to the president’s desk

AOA applauds Congress for passing CARA and urges lawmakers to find adequate funding to ensure access to care for patients.

In Washington, D.C., it’s rare to find bipartisan agreement on any issue, but the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) passed both houses of Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. The House voted 407-5 and the Senate 92-2 to approve CARA.

CARA strengthens prevention, treatment and recovery efforts by empowering medical professionals and law enforcement officials with more tools to help those with substance abuse disorders, the New York Times reports. The measure also expands access to Naloxone so emergency medical workers can help reverse overdoses and improve treatment for the incarcerated.

The catch—CARA doesn’t include funding to pay for the programs it would establish, although legislators have pledged to provide funding through the appropriations process later this year. But when Congress returns in September, it’s expected to keep the government running with a continuing resolution, which typically keeps funding flat.

An AOA-led letter signed by 77 provider groups (including 43 osteopathic affiliates) was sent to all members of Congress applauding CARA’s passage, while urging Congress to continue to build on this achievement by ensuring adequate funding to ensure access to treatment for all who seek it.

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