May 18, 2022
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted in a significant, bipartisan majority to add the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act as an amendment to the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 (H.R. 7666). Once enacted, the MAT Act would remove a decades-old, burdensome federal waiver requirement that is a barrier for health care practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine, an FDA-approved medication for opioid use disorder which cuts the risk of overdose death in half.
With nearly 108,000 people dead from overdose last year, an all-hands-on-deck approach to the overdose crisis has never been more critical. Passing the MAT Act is an important first step toward improving access to treatment, reducing stigma, and preventing overdoses. In voting to add the amendment to H.R. 7666, then advancing the underlying bill out of committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee have pointed the U.S. in the right direction.
“We commend Chairman Pallone and Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers for introducing the bipartisan baseline legislation and for supporting the addition of the MAT Act,” said Libby. Jones, program director of the Overdose Prevention Initiative. “We also applaud Rep. Paul Tonko for championing the bill and working tirelessly to find commonsense solutions to the U.S. overdose crisis. Ultimately, policies like the MAT Act will save lives.”
In the coming months, we will continue to support the MAT Act and advocate for bipartisan passage through the House and Senate. We are confident that policies that prioritize improving access to treatment, eliminating needless barriers to care, and investing in harm reduction will help the U.S. overcome the overdose crisis.
The Overdose Prevention Initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and is a partnership between the Global Health Advocacy Incubator and the Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund.
For questions, please contact Ben Orton-Vipond at firstname.lastname@example.org.