Mullin Secures Major Legislative Wins in Committee Markup of Health and Education Reauthorizations

Today, U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) delivered remarks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee markup to consider the reauthorization of legislation to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, fund cancer screening, and improve education research.

One of the bills up for consideration, the SUPPORT Act, included Senator Mullin’s legislation, the 988 Lifeline Cybersecurity Responsibility Act and a provision Mullin has championed to make progress on the adoption of behavioral health IT. Additionally, Mullin’s legislation, the Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances Act (EPCS 2.0), was offered as an amendment by Senator Hassan (D-NH). All three pieces of legislation passed out of the HELP Committee with strong bipartisan support.

“I’m proud to lead these three legislative initiatives to protect our healthcare infrastructure, coordinate patient care, and improve health outcomes,” said Sen. Mullin. “The number of opioid overdose deaths in Oklahoma has increased by 600 percent since 2019, and we must do more to keep our communities safe and patients healthy. Passing the SUPPORT Act is vital to our continued effort to combat the opioid epidemic, and I am glad that the HELP Committee has moved forward in reauthorizing these important programs.”

Click here to watch a full 1080p video of Mullin’s support for his amendment, the Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances Act.


988 Lifeline Cybersecurity Responsibility Act:

  • The December 2022 cyberattack on the 988 Lifeline exposed vulnerabilities in the 988 system and individuals who tried to call the suicide prevention hotline were instead greeted with a recorded message informing them of the service outage.
  • Mullin’s legislation requires coordination between the Lifeline and the Chief Information Security Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prevent cybersecurity attacks and eliminate known vulnerabilities. 
  • The suicide hotline’s network administrator would also be required to notify the government of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and incidents within 24 hours of discovery. Lastly, the Government Accountability Office would be required to conduct a study evaluating cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities in the 988 system.

The SUPPORT Act includes a provision directing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to hold a stakeholder roundtable on behavioral health IT. This bill makes progress on the adoption of behavioral health IT, which Mullin’s bill, the Behavioral Health Information Technology (BHIT) Coordination Act, directly seeks to address.

Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances Act (EPCS 2.0)

  • In 2018, then-Congressman Mullin worked to ensure that the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act was included in the first iteration of the Support Act. 
  • The bill required all schedule 2 through 5 controlled substance prescriptions to be electronically prescribed in the Medicare Part D program.
  • Since then, more than 30 states have passed e-prescribing legislation into law and the percentage of electronic prescribing of controlled substances has increased by 35 percent.
  • EPCS 2.0 expands to private insurers the existing requirement for Medicare providers to use electronic prescription for all Schedule II-IV controlled substances, while including protections for patients to choose their own pharmacy and exceptions for pharmacies with difficulty accessing internet and other technological barriers.
  • Electronic prescriptions have been shown to reduce fraud.