Reps. Delgado and Tonko Reintroduce Bipartisan Addiction Treatment Legislation

February 25, 2021
Press Release
Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act expands access to safe, effective treatment for millions of Americans

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Antonio Delgado (NY-19) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) announced the reintroduction of their Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, legislation that would expand access to life-saving addiction medication by ending an outdated restriction—called the “x-waiver”—that restricts health providers from prescribing the safe, proven treatment buprenorphine, to patients.


“The opioid epidemic is ravaging communities across the country, including upstate New York. Yet, backward policies make it harder for health professionals to prescribe addiction treatment medications than it is to prescribe opioids themselves,” said Rep. Antonio Delgado. “I'm proud to reintroduce the bipartisan MAT Act, which removes regulatory barriers to buprenorphine and other addiction treatment medications that prevent opioid overdose deaths. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, communities have seen an increase in opioid-related deaths across the country. Congress must move quickly pass this lifesaving legislation.”


“With the COVID pandemic driving the national opioid crisis to scary new heights, Congress needs to move quickly to open new doors of access to lifesaving addiction treatments,” said Rep. Paul Tonko. “Our bipartisan Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act would get this done by ending the outdated ‘x-waiver’ that even now is blocking health professionals from prescribing the safe, proven medication buprenorphine. I am thankful to my fellow champion Representative Delgado for standing with me as we push for this common-sense legislation that will help turn the tide of America’s growing opioid crisis and make it easier for millions of our neighbors, friends and loved ones to find and follow the path to recovery.”


Rep. Antonio Delgado and Rep. Paul Tonko have long worked to expand addiction treatment and address the nation’s opioid crisis. Earlier in February, they sent a letter to the White House calling on President Biden and his administration to support the MAT Act and strengthen access to medication-assisted treatment. The legislation currently has more than 40 cosponsors.


Supporting Organizations include: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ,Americans for Prosperity, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Pharmacists Association, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Big Cities Health Coalition, Center for Popular Democracy, Community Catalyst, College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, Drug Policy Alliance, End SUD, Harm Reduction Coalition, Housing Works, Mental Health America, National Association of Attorneys General, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National League for Nursing, Orexo, People’s Action, Popular Democracy, Shatterproof, Society of Hospital Medicine, Society of General Internal Medicine,  Stand Together, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts.