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New health care law touted as ‘most important bill of the year’


U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is touting the 21st Century Cures bill, which the Senate and House have now passed and President Barack Obama is expected to sign, as “the most important bill of the year.”

The $6.3 billion legislation includes $1 billion to fight opioid abuse and $1.8 billion for Vice President Joe Biden’s “cancer moonshot” initiative; changes the way the federal Food and Drug Administration approves drugs and medical devices; and pushes hospitals and doctors to make it easy to share data on their patients electronically.

The funding can help provide treatment for opioid abusers and train doctors and other health care professionals in the best way to treat addiction, said Dr. David Stern, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.

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