There is no question that our nation’s health care system requires substantial reform. The status quo of soaring health care costs, struggling families, and health care provider shortages across Maine and the nation is unacceptable. Senator Collins frequently works with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address these and other important issues facing our nation such as improved mental health care, drug treatment programs, supporting America’s caregivers, and nutrition programs.

As a native to northern Maine, Senator Collins understands the specific challenges that rural communities face for medical care. Throughout her time in the Senate, Senator Collins has consistently supported programs to expand access to and improve the health care system, particularly for citizens living in rural areas. 

As a freshman legislator, Senator Collins founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus and has since led the effort to more than triple federal funding for diabetes research.

Senate Passes Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act with Two Provisions Authored by Senator Collins

Washington, D.C.—With overwhelming bipartisan support, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive, evidence-based response to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic by a vote of 92-2. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.  The CARA Conference Report contains two amendments authored by Senator Collins, as well as a number of provisions for which she advocated.

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Senate Passes Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

            WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, Conference Report, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, this afternoon by a vote of 92 to 2.  Among many other provisions, this bipartisan legislation will allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants who meet certain criteria to dispense buprenorphine for opioid addiction treatment for the first time. 

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Maine Receives Nearly $200,000 to Combat Spread of Zika Virus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will receive $176,049 in federal funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to bolster public health system preparedness and response capabilities to protect Americans from the Zika virus.

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Senator Collins Announces Appropriations Committee Approves $261 Million to Combat Opioid Abuse

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today that the Committee has approved the fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill with $261 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ opioid abuse initiatives, a 93 percent increase.  The legislation was approved by a vote of 29 to 1 and will now be considered by the full Senate.

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Companion Legislation to Senators Collins and Heitkamp’s Bipartisan Human Trafficking Bill Introduced in House

Washington, D.C.–A companion bill to the Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond (SOAR) to Health and Wellness Act, which was introduced in the Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), was introduced in the House yesterday by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO). This bipartisan legislation would provide health care professionals at all levels training on how to identify and appropriately treat human trafficking victims.

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Chairman Collins, Ranking Member McCaskill Seek Information from Companies on Efforts to Preserve Accessibility of Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of a multifaceted approach to address our nation’s opioid abuse and heroin public health crisis, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, have written to five companies regarding their efforts to preserve the accessibility of the opioid reversal drug naloxone. 

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Senator Collins Announces $132 Million to Combat Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $132 million to combat the heroin and opioid abuse crisis.  The legislation was unanimously approved by the Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.

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Following Strong Advocacy from THUD Chairman Susan Collins, Senate Passes Bipartisan Amendment Providing $1.1 Billion to Address Zika Threat

Washington, D.C.—Following strong advocacy and leadership from U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, the Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to the THUD bill that would provide $1.1 billion in emergency funding to address the Zika threat, including $361 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and $200 million for the National Institutes of Health. 

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Assessing the Progress and the Work to be Done in the Fight to End Alzheimer’s

When I was back home in Maine recently, I saw an 88-year-old woman taking care of her 90-year-old husband with Alzheimer’s.  I also spoke with a woman in her 50s who, with her sisters, is juggling their busy work schedules with the care of their mother who has Alzheimer’s.  And I talked to a man trying to cope with his wife’s dementia as well as his own health problems.

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Senators Collins, Shaheen, & Patriots Linebacker Dont’a Hightower Call on Congress to Tackle Diabetes

“Since I founded the Senate Diabetes Caucus in 1997, funding for diabetes research has more than tripled,” said Senator Collins.  “The 2016 omnibus spending bill passed late last year continues this progress with an overall $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, the largest since 2003, but there is still much work to be done.  I have called on my colleagues to maintain our strong commitment to diabetes research in the 2017 spending bill, and Senator Shaheen and I are determined to require Medicare to cover Continuous Glucose Monitors, just as many private insurance companies already do.  Today’s investments will yield cures and therapies for patients tomorrow.”

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Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Improve Mental Health Services On College Campuses

Washington, D.C. – Responding to the pressing need for enhanced mental health services on college campuses across the country, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) today to introduce bipartisan legislation to improve mental health services on college campuses.  The Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act – which was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S.

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Senators Collins, King Announce Over $1.2 Million to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic in Maine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $1.2 million dollars to community health centers in Maine to help fight the opioid epidemic. The funding will expand the delivery of substance abuse services, including medication assisted treatment, with a focus on treatment of opioid use disorders.

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Prescription Opioid Abuse: One of the Foremost Public Health Challenges Facing Our Nation

Millions of older Americans experience pain associated with such conditions as bone fractures, cancer, post-surgery recovery, and end-of-life illnesses.  Studies have shown that as many as 50 percent of older adults living at home and 85 percent of older adults living in residential facilities may suffer from chronic pain.  For these older Americans, prompt delivery of pain control is a medical imperative.

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Senator Collins Underscores Importance of Combatting IRS Imposter Scam to Attorney General Lynch

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Aging Committee, emphasized to Attorney General Loretta Lynch the importance of developing a more robust response to the IRS impersonation phone scam at an Appropriations Committee hearing this morning.  During the hearing, Senator Collins showcased the Aging Committee’s comprehensive guide on the top 10 scams targeting seniors, which found that the IRS impersonation phone scam is the #1 most prevalent fraud.

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Senator Collins leads Bipartisan Letter to Secretary Burwell Highlighting Possible Contributing Factor to Opioid Crisis

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) led a bipartisan delegation of 26 U.S. Senators in writing to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, regarding one possible contributing factor to the opioid crisis and heroin epidemic facing our country. The letter urges HHS to conduct a robust examination of whether or not certain questions on patient satisfaction surveys may inadvertently encourage treatment with opioid pain relievers, contributing to the vast supply of prescription opioids currently in circulation in our country. According to the CDC, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.

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Senators Collins, King Announce Grant for Maine DHHS Vaccination Program

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have announced the award of $1.181 million for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  The grant, which was awarded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, will help provide free immunizations to eligible low-income children under the age of 18.
 

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