Review of a Bill: H.R. 6 The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
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Summary and Major Provisions of the Bill
H.R. 6 contains public health, Medicare, and Medicaid changes aimed at combating the opioid problem by expanding treatment and rehabilitation programs, increasing prevention, safeguarding populations, and strengthening measures to fight illegal synthetic substances such as fentanyl. The House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee sanctioned the bill’s provisions via conventional procedure (2018, govtrack.us). The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, or H.R. 6, is a dual-party measure designed to mitigate the country’s opioid addiction issue. The historic law contains necessary measures for expanding and reinforcing the manpower to educate on addictive medicines. It also entails standardization of addictive medication delivery and expanding access to high-quality, evidence-based treatment, as well as addressing addictive medication in a manner that makes integrated and holistic care easier to provide (ASAM, 2018). The primary aim of this law is to assist millions of addicts and their families. Its aim is to increase the number of services available that will encompass rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention.
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Legislation and Relevant Facts
Members of the Senate and House have paid close focus to the [opioid] problem during the 115th Congress. The House of Representatives approved more than 50 measures in June, which were subsequently merged to become H.R. 6. Simultaneously, the Senate was drafting a related bill, the Opioid Crisis Response Act, which drew feedback from more than 70 legislators and was eventually incorporated into H.R.
Both the Senate and House easily approved this finalized bill in September and October 2018, delivering the President the most detailed package of national legislation ever created to combat addiction, which he promulgated on October 24, 2018. This bill will, among other things, assist in addressing the horrific opioid epidemic whereas also guaranteeing that multitudes of communities, families, individuals, and affected by addiction get the treatment, attention, and services they require and feel entitled to (Addiction Policy Forum, 2018).
Greg Walden, a Republican, introduced H.R. 6 (115th): SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. He is the 2nd congressman for Oregon. On J une 13, 2018, the bill was unveiled. On June 22, 2018, the measure was approved by the House of Representatives. After that, it was sent to the Senate. The Senate approved the bill on September 17, 2018, with amendments not included in the House draft and then submitted it back to the House for approval. The revised legislative version of Passed the House with an Amendment was released on September 28, 2018. On October 3, 2018, both houses of Congress approved the measure in the same form. The law was then sent to the President, who could approve or reject it. On October 24, 2018, it was passed and approved by the President, and it became official.
Key Supporters and Stakeholders
The legislation, which includes measures to minimize emerging addictions and increase accessibility to care, particularly medication-assisted therapy, is widely seen as a significant stride ahead by most parties (Guyer & Mann, 2018).
The key stakeholders include:
Organizations at the national, state, and local levels
Boards of Licensing
Health Care Professionals
Patients, especially those suffering from chronic pain
The key supporters and cosponsors are:
Stivers, Steve [R-OH15] (joined June 21, 2018)
MacArthur, Tom [R-NJ3] (joined June 20, 2018)
Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ9] (joined June 19, 2018)
Sessions, Pete [R-TX32] (joined June 19, 2018)
Guthrie, Brett [R-KY2] (joined June 19, 2018)
Kuster, Ann [D-NH2] (joined June 14, 2018)
Walz, Timothy [D-MN1] (joined June 13, 2018)
Shuster, Bill [R-PA9] (joined June 13, 2018)
Roe, David “Phil” [R-TN1] (joined June 13, 2018)
Pallone, Frank [D-NJ6] (joined June 13, 2018)
Neal, Richard [D-MA1] (joined June 13, 2018)
Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA6] (joined June 13, 2018)
Foxx, Virginia [R-NC5] (joined June 13, 2018)
DeFazio, Peter [D-OR4] (joined Jun 13, 2018)
Burgess, Michael [R-TX26] (joined June 13, 2018)
Brady, Kevin [R-TX8] (joined June 13, 2018)
The votes indicate that the majority of Representatives came out in favor of the H.R. 6 bill. The measure received 396 yes votes and 14 no votes in the House on June 22, 2018. The Senate voted 99 yes and one no on September 17, 2018. The motion to concur was voted by the Senate on October 3, 2018, with 98 yes votes and one no vote.
Quality Care Discussion
Nursing professionals will be able to treat clients using buprenorphine for opioid addiction for five years under the H.R. 6 bill. The legislation also allows registered nurses and physicians to treat people with buprenorphine on an ongoing basis, allowing certified clinicians to care for at most 100 patients in their first year rather than the current limit of 30. This is a significant stride ahead in the extension of treatment, which remains one of the most difficult tasks in the battle against the crisis. (2018, Pallone) Buprenorphine is an opioid that is used to alleviate pain and narcotic pain reliever dependency. In the treatment of opioid addiction, drugs like buprenorphine, in conjunction with counseling and behavioral treatments, offer a whole-patient paradigm. 2018 (GovTrack.us) Nurses will be able to provide this essential medicine to patients dependent on opioid pain medications under the terms of this law. In my facility, the opioid epidemic is a major issue, and this law provides me the opportunity to assist them. As an O.B./GYN-Postpartum nurse, I’ve seen how opiate addiction affects not just mothers but also infants. This law would assist mothers in receiving treatment and rehabilitation assistance, allowing them a second opportunity to improve their lives and that of their children. I wholeheartedly support the passage of this law.
Addiction Policy Forum. (2018). President Trump Signs the Historic Opioid Package (H.R. 6) into Law! Addiction Policy Forum. Retrieved from https://www.addictionpolicy.org/blog/president-trump-signs-the-historic-opioid-package-h.r.-6-into-law
ASAM. (2018). The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6). American Society of Addiction Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.asam.org/advocacy/the-support-for-patients-and-communities-act-(h.r.-6)
GovTrack. (2018). H.R. 6 (115th): SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. GovTrack. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr6/summary
Guyer, J. & Mann, C. (2018). Medicaid Provisions in the SUPPORT Act: An Important Step Forward in the Opioid Epidemic, but the Road Ahead Is Long. The Commonwealth Fund. Retrieved from https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/medicaid-provisions-support-act-important-step-forward-opioid-epidemic-road-ahead-long
Review of a Bill Assignment
Select an active bill at the state or federal level that impacts the professional practice of nursing. In a 3-4 page paper (excluding the title and reference pages), summarize the provisions of the bill and clearly explain what the bill will accomplish. The paper should be no more than 4 pages, typed in Times New Roman using 12-point font, and double-spaced with 1″ margins.
Your review of a bill paper should:
Discuss the major provisions of the bill.
Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the legislation by explaining the background and all relevant facts.
Discuss any relevant history related to the legislation, pertinent votes, and issues that are stalling the legislation, etc.
Use primary sources for this information.
Identify key supporters and those who do not support the bill. Explain why some of these individuals support the bill and why some do not.
Explore the positions of the key stakeholders in the bill, both pros and cons. Do not make assumptions about potential key stakeholders. Examine this area carefully so you are correctly reflecting the stakeholders positions.
Discuss how the bill would impact a nurse’s ability to provide safe and quality care or to practice to the highest scope of the nursing license.
Explain specific actions that nurses can take to assist with the passage or defeat of the legislation
Use Current APA Style, headings and references as appropriate.
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- Care for Individuals and Families
- Nursing homes assisted living facilities and continuing care communities
- Collaboration Communication & Case Analysis
- Technological advancements that would be available to patients
- Precautions and personal equipment for patients
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