September 13, 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), today announced that the conference agreement for the Labor/HHS appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 includes $3.8 billion in funding for programs targeting the opioid epidemic. As chairman, Blunt has led efforts to increase opioid-related funding and repeatedly called for increased resources to combat the epidemic.
“More people in Missouri now die from opioids than they do from breast cancer or car accidents,” said Blunt. “This epidemic is taking a toll on individuals, families, communities, and our local economies. In Missouri, the annual burden from the opioid crisis exceeds $12.6 billion – more than the economic activity generated by the agriculture, mining, and utilities sectors combined. We need a federal response that’s equal to the challenge we’re facing, and this bill delivers that.”
With this year’s funding bill, under Blunt’s chairmanship, funding for opioid-related Labor/HHS programs has increased by more than $3.5 billion over four years.
Blunt continued, “This bill provides flexible funding for states to implement the programs that work best for them. The bill directs resources to the hardest-hit states and rural communities, which are affected at a higher rate than urban or suburban areas. It addresses the needs of the most vulnerable of those affected by opioid use disorder – infants, children, and youth. And, it directs resources toward research into opioid alternatives to give patients with acute or chronic pain access to non-addictive pain medications. From researching opioid alternatives to expanding access to treatment and prevention programs, this bill reinforces our commitment to ending this epidemic and saving lives.”
The $3.8 Billion for Opioid-Related Labor/HHS Programs Includes: