With FORE Support, Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Task Force to Develop Recommendations for Congress, Biden Administration on Ending the Opioid CrisisApril 21, 2021
Through a grant from FORE, the Bipartisan Policy Center has launched the Opioid Crisis Task Force to develop evidence-based recommendations for Congress and the Biden administration on how to reduce overdose death rates — which have accelerated during the pandemic — and strengthen the federal response to the crisis over the long term. The Bipartisan Policy Center is a Washington, D.C.–based think tank with a reputation for combining the best ideas from both sides of the aisle to promote health and opportunity for all Americans.
The Task Force members bring with them a broad range of experience in health care and government; they are:
- Jerome Adams, M.D., 20th U.S. Surgeon General
- Steve Beshear, Former Governor (D-KY)
- Mary Bono, Former U.S. Representative (R-CA)
- Richard G. Frank, Ph.D., Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics, Harvard University
- Patrice Harris, M.D., CEO, eMed; Former President, American Medical Association
- Susanna Martinez, Former Governor (R-NM)
- Donna E. Shalala, Former U.S. Representative (D-FL); Former HHS Secretary
Over the coming months, the task force will examine drug overdose trends over the past two years and the main drivers behind the surge, track fiscal year 2020 federal opioid funding and investments from the four COVID-19 emergency relief packages, and analyze the types of treatment services that are being supported across the country and the gaps that exist. The report will also examine treatment disparities in states that expanded Medicaid compared to non-expansion states.
The work of this new bipartisan group will build on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s two prior reports, which tracked federal opioid funding for FY2017–2019. Those reports offer a comprehensive, transparent analysis of federal funding to support states in tackling the nation’s opioid crisis.
Both Bipartisan Policy Center and FORE strongly believe there is a window of opportunity to advance more effective federal policy for combating the nation’s opioid crisis. With a new administration and a narrowly divided Congress, meaningful and durable bipartisan reforms will greatly enhance the prospect for bipartisan action.
“We believe this work will be instrumental in identifying best practices and defining potential solutions to the opioid crisis that has gripped our nation,” said Dr. Karen A. Scott, President of FORE, which is supporting this work. The collaborative bipartisan approach of the task force can help address the surge in overdose deaths and inform federal policies that will impact people with opioid use disorder and their families.”