Statement of Carlos F. Tirado, MD,MPH, Chief Medical Officer, MAP Health Management and CARMAhealth

On Wednesday, June 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 (H.R.7666) with a strong bipartisan majority. CARMAHealth applauds the passage of the bill and its Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act provision, which will remove federal barriers to medications for opioid use disorder, increase access to lifesaving treatment for thousands of people with addiction, and reduce stigma.

We thank Reps. Paul Tonko, Mike Turner, Antonio Delgado, and Anthony Gonzalez for their sponsorship of the MAT Act and their diligence in ensuring the policy’s inclusion in H.R.7666. We also thank the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone Jr. and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers for their leadership in passing the substantial Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022.

CARMAHealth is one of more than 450 organizations supporting the policy behind the MAT Act. This Congress, the MAT Act was among the most cosponsored bills in the House (H.R.1384), and its companion bill in the Senate (S.455) has six cosponsors — three Democrats and three Republicans — a testament to the policy’s overwhelming bipartisan support. As the Senate creates a companion bill to H.R.7666, we will urge Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Richard Burr of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee to take up and pass the MAT Act.

In 2021, the United States lost nearly 108,000 people to drug overdose — an unfathomable tragedy. Each person who died from an overdose last year left behind family members, friends, and communities. Overdose deaths are preventable through evidence-based treatment, including medication. By passing a companion bill that includes the MAT Act, the Senate can prevent future deaths and help people with substance use disorder find recovery.