April 28, 2022

New Democrat Coalition Endorses Slate of 22 Bipartisan Health Care Bills to Address Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

New Dems are Taking Action to Deliver on the President’s Unity Agenda and Tackle the Public Health Crises That Have Been Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), led by NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chairs Kim Schrier (WA-08) and Terri Sewell (AL-07), endorsed a slate of 22 bipartisan health care bills aimed at addressing mental health and substance use disorders. New Dems are committed to delivering impactful, durable solutions to tackle these devastating and urgent public health crises, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.  

New Dems’ number one priority has always been to break through the gridlock to deliver on legislation that improves Americans’ lives. That’s why New Dems are answering President Biden’s call at the State of the Union for action on a Unity Agenda by working to send these bipartisan, commonsense solutions to the President’s desk this year. These bills will tackle the rise in synthetic opioids like fentanyl, increase access to health care services, create more comprehensive mental and behavioral health services, prioritize kids’ mental health, and more.  

“We have all seen the devastating toll the mental health and addiction public health crises have taken on our communities nationwide,” said NDC Chair Suzan DelBene (WA-01). “And the COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse and increased barriers to quality care. New Dems are taking action on legislation to help Americans dealing with these difficult issues and save lives. New Dems will continue working across the aisle and the Capitol to get this slate of bills to the President’s desk so we can get Americans the care they need and deserve as soon as possible. There is no time to waste. We must take action now.”   

“Families in my district are feeling an unprecedented burden that is taking a real toll on their mental well-being,” said NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Kim Schrier (WA-08). “Even before the pandemic, my patients struggled to find the mental health care they needed, and our community was experiencing an alarming increase in opioid overdoses. These trends have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This group of commonsense, bipartisan bills takes action to address urgent mental health and substance use treatment needs across the country. I’m honored to have two of my bills focused on children’s mental health included and urge action to pass this important legislation.”

“The opioid epidemic has devastated families and communities across this nation, and it is incumbent upon all of us in Congress to make addressing this crisis a priority,” said NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07). “By making non-opioid alternatives more accessible to patients experiencing post-surgical pain, my NOPAIN Act would help lessen the risk of addiction and save lives. I thank the New Democrat Coalition for endorsing this slate of critical mental health and substance use disorder bills, including my NOPAIN Act, and will continue working to get this bill across the finish line to help stem the needless loss of life plaguing our communities." 

“Health care legislation that improves American public health requires identifying problems that are both in plain sight and hiding in the shadows,” said NDC Vice Chair for Policy Scott Peters (CA-52). “By endorsing these 22 wide-ranging bills, the New Democrat Coalition is supporting solutions to prevent drug addiction and suicide, while underscoring the importance of mental health and lifesaving resources. The crises exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic do not discriminate by party or political preference. NDC members know that access to health care is a top priority for families in our districts across the country and is firmly leading the way to deliver the care Americans need.”

“The ongoing mental health and addiction epidemic has touched every community in the country, including my district in New Hampshire. That’s why I am proud to join my colleagues on the New Democrat Coalition to endorse a slate of 22 bipartisan bills to address the mental health and substance use crisis and expand access to treatment and prevention resources,” said NDC Vice Chair of Communications and Founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Annie Kuster (NH-02). “I am especially proud that two of my bills have been endorsed by the Coalition — the STOP Fentanyl Act and the Humane Correctional Health Care Act. I look forward to working with my New Democrat Coalition colleagues to get these bills over the finish line to help save lives.”

“It’s time for the United States to take control of our own destiny to address the mental health and addiction crises in our communities,” said Founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Rep. David Trone (MD-06). “As Hubert Humphrey once said, ‘the moral test of government is how we treat those who are in the shadows of life.’ We must come together to develop solutions that fight these issues on every front. With the President’s Unity Agenda and the support of my colleagues in the New Democrat Coalition, I am confident we can pass common-sense legislation and get the job done.”

As part of this slate, the New Democrat Coalition endorsed the following bills: 

  • H.R. 3259 – Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act, Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) 
  • H.R. 5141 – MOBILE Health Care Act, Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03) 
  • H.R.7076 – Supporting Children’s Mental Health Care Access Act, Rep. Kim Schrier (WA-08) 
  • H.R. 2929 – Virtual Peer Support Act, Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03)
  • H.R.5218– Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner Act, Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) 
  • H.R. 5407 ) – Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act, Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07)  
  • H.R. 1384 – Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY-20)  
  • H.R. 2067 – Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-03)  
  • H.R. 4944 – Helping Kids Cope Act, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL)  
  • H.R. 2376 – Excellence in Recovery Housing Act, Rep. David Trone (MD-06)
  • H.R. 7232  – 9–8–8 and Parity Assistance Act, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) 
  • H.R. 2366 – STOP Fentanyl Act, Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) 
  • H.R. 909  – Moms Matter Act, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL)  
  • H.R.1385 – Behavioral Health Coordination and Communication Act, Rep. David Trone (MD-06) 
  • H.R. 3514 – Humane Correctional Health Care Act, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02)
  • H.R.3549  Comprehensive Mental Health In Schools Pilot Program Act, Rep. David Trone (D-MD-06) 
  • Bill Number TBD – The Social Media and Pediatric Mental Health Working Group Act, Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA-08) 
  • H.R. 5469 – The Furthering Opioid Services, Training, and Education Resources (FOSTER) Act, Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10)
  • H.R. 6279 – Opioid Treatment Access Act, Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01)
  • H.R. 5934 – Supporting Healthy Mothers and Infants Act, Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC-06) Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC-06) 
  • H.R. 5950 – Improving Patient Access to Care and Treatment (IMPACT) Act, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04)
  • H.R. 792 – Barriers to Suicide Act, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA-08)