U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Works to Fund Opioid Abuse Treatment and Prevention, Increase NIH funding and Support Family Caregivers

Bipartisan funding legislation passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the Senate passed a bipartisan Fiscal Year 2019 funding package that includes a number of priorities from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to provide additional funding for states to combat the opioid epidemic, to increase health and research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and to support family caregivers.

“With this bipartisan legislation we are providing an increase in funding for opioid abuse treatment and prevention that can help make sure Wisconsin communities and health officials have the tools they need to confront the opioid crisis and save lives.” said Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I have been a strong supporter of Wisconsin research, science and innovation so I’m proud to work across party lines to provide increased funding for NIH so Wisconsin can continue be a leader advancing health care research and cures. My bipartisan work with Senator Collins to support family caregivers was signed into law by President Trump. Now we have secured critical funding to take the next step in putting in place a national strategy to support family caregivers across the country.”

The bipartisan appropriations package, which includes the FY19 Department of Defense funding bill and the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies funding bill, is expected to be voted on in the House next week before going to President Trump for his signature.

Funding for Opioid Abuse Treatment and Prevention

The bill provides a total of $3.78 billion for opioid abuse and mental health activities throughout HHS, an increase of $145 million over FY18 levels. It also provides increased funding for the FY19 State Targeted Opioid Response grant for a total of $1.5 billion.  This includes $50 million for tribal communities and a 15 percent set-aside for hardest hit states.

Senator Baldwin authored the Opioid Response Enhancement Act to expand and extend the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant program to provide states and tribal communities more resources to address the epidemic. The grant program was established as part of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act that Senator Baldwin worked to pass in Congress. Earlier this year, Senator Baldwin led the effort to include an additional $1 billion for this program to fight the opioid epidemic in the FY18 omnibus funding bill signed by President Trump.

Investing in Wisconsin Health Research, Science and Innovation

The legislation provides $39.1 billion for NIH, an increase of $2 billion from last year’s level and $4.5 billion above the President’s budget. The increase includes an additional $425 million for Alzheimer’s disease research for a total of $2.34 billion, and an additional $86 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative. It also includes increases of $29 million for the BRAIN Initiative and $37 million for research to combat antimicrobial resistance. Every NIH Institute and Center receives increased funding to support investments that advance science and speed the development of new therapies, diagnostics and preventive measures, improving the health of all Americans.

In the Senate, Baldwin has been a strong supporter of Wisconsin research, science and innovation and this funding will also help support the efforts of research leaders like University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Medical College of Wisconsin.

Funding for Baldwin-Collins RAISE Family Caregivers Act

The bill includes $300,000 to implement the Family Caregiving Advisory Council established in Senator Baldwin and Senator Collins’ bipartisan RAISE Family Caregivers Act that was signed into law earlier this year.

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. Baldwin and Collins called on HHS Secretary Azar earlier this year to swiftly implement the law and establish the Family Advisory Council.