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Rubio, Nelson Urge HELP Committee to Move Legislation Combatting Opioid Crisis to Senate Floor

Apr 18, 2018 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Help, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee today unveiled a comprehensive bipartisan bill aimed at combatting the urgent opioid crisis.
 
According to the committee, the bill is comprised of 40 different proposals offered by various senators to help combat the growing epidemic. Among the proposals included in the broader bill was one offered recently by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) to improve the quality care being provided to newborn babies suffering from opioid withdrawal.
 
Opioid use during pregnancy can cause a newborn baby to experience the painful effects of a drug-withdrawal syndrome known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS. To better treat the thousands of babies born each year with NAS, Nelson and Rubio filed legislation last week to provide states with additional funding to better research and analyze this heartbreaking syndrome.
 
Now, with their proposal included in the committee’s larger bill to address the crisis, Rubio and Nelson are urging Senate HELP committee leaders to move the bill to the full Senate for a vote as soon as possible.
 
“Sadly, the number of babies with NAS is only increasing, rising nearly five-fold from 2000 to 2012,” the senators wrote in a letter today to Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). “As the committee considers this important legislation, we strongly encourage you to keep these provisions as part of the final bill to help families and states respond to the opioid crisis.”
 
Below is the full text of the lawmakers’ letter, followed by more info on the Rubio-Nelson bill (A .pdf copy of the letter is available here).
 
Here’s a link to the text of Rubio and Nelson’s bill.
 
A copy of the health committee’s broader bill unveiled today is available here. And here’s a section-by-section breakdown.