Trump signs opioid bill with O'Halleran provision
WASHINGTON — In an effort to address the country’s opioid crisis, President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday comprehensive legislation that contains provisions introduced by one of Pinal County’s congressional representatives.
The Support for Patients and Communities Act is a collection of bipartisan bills meant to combat addiction to medically prescribed painkillers.
One element of the legislation will allow 10 states with high overdose rates to receive enhanced Medicaid funds to strengthen provider networks and improve treatment.
This provision was included in a bill introduced earlier this year by U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona.
“Across this country, Americans are falling victim to an epidemic that knows no boundaries, and today our bipartisan work to address this crisis was signed into law,” O’Halleran said in a press release.
The first-term Democratic lawmaker represents Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which stretches from Flagstaff to Casa Grande.
The Support Act had 252 bipartisan cosponsors from the U.S. House of Representatives, according to website GovTrack Insider, and passed through the House in a 396-14 vote.
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, was listed as one of the few lawmakers who voted against the legislation in June.
The legislation signed by the president will also increase penalties for manufacturers who over-prescribe opioids, boost efforts to keep drugs like fentanyl from crossing international borders and allow federal agencies to pursue research into pain treatment.
“There is still a great deal of work to do that requires a strong partnership with local and state leaders who are at the forefront of this battle,” added O’Halleran, who is running for re-election this year against Republican Wendy Rogers.