President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are set to unveil a bipartisan package of opioid relief legislation Tuesday, the latest sign of bipartisan cooperation to address the crisis gripping America.
The Senate Finance Committee is set to release a bill Thursday, but the package will likely be tabled for weeks.
The White House and the president’s top health adviser, David Shulkin, are expected to release their own proposals later this week.
Here are the top stories on the opioid epidemic and how the administration plans to address it.
*Trump signs $1.6 billion opioid relief package: Trump signs a bill Monday that will extend health insurance to the roughly 16 million Americans who have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the White House said.
The bill also extends coverage for opioid-related injuries, and it authorizes $1 billion in funding to address opioid-resistant infections and deaths, as well as $1 million in additional funding to support community-based opioid treatment.
It also provides $1,000 in emergency grants to states and tribes to support the opioid treatment and recovery efforts.
*Treatment for opioids: The president is expected to sign a bill Tuesday to extend prescription opioid treatment for people diagnosed with a non-cancer diagnosis and for those suffering from a chronic pain condition, the administration said.
It will also provide $1 trillion in additional funds to help states and communities develop prescription drug abuse treatment plans.
*Huge opioid-dependence crisis: In the past week, the number of opioid-dependent Americans quadrupled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than half of Americans are now using prescription opioids for pain, according a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The crisis has left some Americans struggling to get treatment and is hurting families who are unable to care for their sick loved ones.
In the U.S., the rate of opioid use among men has risen nearly four times since 2010, while the rate among women has dropped.
In addition, more than 40 percent of people under 30 are taking prescription opioids, according the CDC.
*Senate passes $1B opioid relief bill: The Senate on Monday passed a bill to provide emergency relief to nearly 16 million people in the opioid addiction treatment and prevention system, including those in nursing homes, hospices, and substance abuse treatment facilities.
The measure would extend coverage for those with insurance to those who are experiencing opioid-induced illnesses and injury and to the 1.3 million people who are at high risk of becoming dependent on opioids.
*Nursing home patient access to emergency opioid drugs: A nursing home in Pennsylvania said Monday that it had seen a surge in opioid-use among its patients, and that it is providing the federal government with additional funding for the state’s opioid crisis.
The state has not yet had an opioid overdose crisis of its own, but in response to the crisis, the state is working to address some of the underlying causes, said state Sen. Jim Steube, a Democrat.
The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to provide more money to help pay for additional testing and treatment facilities in Pennsylvania, and the House is expected later this month to act on legislation that would provide the same funding.
*Federal health officials: A federal health official on Monday called on the administration to stop its “continuous, targeted” campaign to expand access to opioid-free opioid treatment, noting that the government has spent $100 million to help expand opioid-resistance testing and other services.
The official called on Congress to stop the campaign to force states to allow people to purchase opioids without a prescription, and to ensure that any money given to states for opioid addiction services is directed toward programs that address the opioid-abuse and substance use disorders, not to provide free and cheap opioids.
The Trump administration’s $100M in opioids funding is a total of $9.3 billion in 2016.
*The opioid epidemic: The U.N. says nearly 20 million people worldwide have died from opioid-mediated overdoses, the most severe drug overdose since World War II, with an estimated 1.4 million deaths a year.
The opioid crisis is particularly devastating for children, with nearly 40 percent being victims of opioid overdoses.
The government and pharmaceutical companies have been at the forefront of the fight against the opioid drug, and some states are seeking to ban or limit the availability of opioids.
The president’s administration has been taking steps to address and reduce the number and cost of opioid prescriptions, with more than $2 billion in new funding for opioid abuse treatment and $500 million in grants for community-driven treatment.
*States on edge: Some states are struggling to address chronic pain and opioid addiction, with some governors and some health officials concerned about the number, severity and frequency of opioid addiction.
The governors of Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas have all called for the repeal of the federal opioid control law, which they say prevents states from implementing treatment programs to treat opioid-addicted people.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has proposed