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 Legislative and Policy Corner

Get up to Date on Federal MCH Policy
The next event in the All-Member National MCH Policy Call series will take place on May 3 from 2-3 p.m. ET.

AMCHP Urges Senate Health Committee to Include Maternal Mortality Bill in Opioid Legislative Package
AMCHP, together with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, sent a letter last week to the leadership of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee urging them to include S. 1112, the bipartisan Maternal Health Accountability Act, in the committee’s proposed Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The act, led by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), would build on state-led solutions to tackle the problem of maternal mortality, including maternal deaths due to drug overdoses. The bill would provide funding for states to establish or expand maternal mortality review committees to review individual maternal deaths and make targeted recommendations based on those findings to prevent maternal deaths in the future. The HELP Committee hopes to formally consider the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 in a markup this spring.

Congressional Hearings on the Opioid Crisis
Committees in the House and Senate have renewed their focus on legislation to combat the opioid crisis. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee has held three legislative hearings on combatting the opioid crisis since the beginning of 2018. The hearings focused on public health and prevention efforts, balancing enforcement with public safety, and insurance coverage and payment issues. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee has held seven bipartisan hearings on the opioid crisis since October 2017. Out of these hearings, Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-W.Va. ) developed draft legislation called the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 that incorporates 29 Senate legislative proposals.
The House and Senate committee hearings on the opioid crisis include provisions related to the impact of this epidemic on maternal and child health populations. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has said he wants opioid legislation to pass the House by Memorial Day weekend. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Alexander has said he hopes to formally markup opioid legislation in his committee this spring.