BPC Action Urges Reauthorization of the SUPPORT Act in Health

BPC Action commends congressional leadership for their ongoing commitment to pursuing bipartisan solutions to address the opioid crisis. BPC Action encourages all members to continue with this bipartisan cooperation in passing the Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization (SUPPORT) Act. Reauthorizing the SUPPORT Act is essential for bolstering the comprehensive federal response to the opioid crisis.

The Bipartisan Policy Center has long been working on developing policy solutions to improve the federal effort to combat the opioid crisis. Most recently, in 2022, BPC’s Opioid Crisis Task Force published a report detailing recommendations for Congress and the Biden administration to optimize mandatory and discretionary spending to improve opioid-related population health outcomes.

BPC Action is particularly pleased that the legislation currently being considered by the House includes several bipartisan priorities, such as:

  • Updating training opportunities for health care professionals who prescribe controlled substances.
  • Making permanent the requirement for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to publish annual data on the utilization of substance use disorder (SUD) services by Medicare beneficiaries and expanding the required CMS data reporting to include the utilization of mental health care services.
  • Permanently extending the SUPPORT Act’s state plan amendment option for states to lift Medicaid’s Institutions for Mental Diseases exclusion (IMD exclusion) for SUD services.
  • Requiring states to suspend, rather than terminate, Medicaid coverage for an individual while incarcerated, thus allowing certain individuals to regain Medicaid coverage more immediately upon release from incarceration.
  • Permitting states to maintain Medicaid coverage for eligible pregnant individuals while they are in pre-trial detention awaiting a final disposition of charges.

BPC Action applauds Congress for its steadfast commitment to fighting this epidemic. The opioid crisis affects every state, district, and community in our country, and robust bipartisan federal action will be critical in overcoming it. We forward to working in a bipartisan manner to ensure a timely reauthorization of the SUPPORT Act in both the House and Senate.

View the full letter to congressional leadership here.