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House approves bill to expand treatment for opioid abuse

Posted: 3:34 PM, Jun 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-11 19:35:48Z

The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation designed to give health care providers more tools to stem an opioid crisis killing more than 115 people in the United States daily.

The legislation passed Friday by a vote of 396-14. It's one of dozens of opioid-related bills that lawmakers have made a campaign-season priority.

The bill passed Friday encourages states to increase coverage of treatment for substance abuse disorders through Medicaid.

The legislation also seeks to expand the use of medications to treat opioid abuse. It would allow more health care providers to treat patients with a drug that reduces risks of overdoses. It adds methadone clinics to the Medicare program.

The Medicare changes are testament to the toll the crisis is taking on the elderly, with 300,000 Medicare patients having been diagnosed with opioid addiction.