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March 3, 2022

Ways and Means Committee hearing on substance use, suicide risk, and the American health system

On March 2, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing entitled, "Substance Use, Suicide Risk, and the American Health System." During the hearing, lawmakers expressed concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation's mental health and substance use. Republicans on the committee used the hearing to express concern with the Southern border control allowing fentanyl into the country and the Biden administration's prolonged shutdown and "social isolation" policies. They discussed policies to address the border and build on bills passed to stem the opioid epidemic, including the SUPPORT Act. Democrats on the committee also discussed ways to build on past legislation and find ways to increase access to care.

The witnesses discussed a range of policy solutions, including making permanent certain telehealth flexibilities, such as cross state licensure and audio-only telehealth options, addressing pay parity within the mental health system and fixing reimbursement among substance use providers, removing barriers and addressing the stigma attached to medication assisted treatment for substance use, and more.

  • More information is available here.

Additional information is also available in the attached Tax Alert.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
   • Heather Meade (
   • Heather Bell (


Ways and Means Committee hearing on health system