MEDIA ADVISORY: Chairman Sanders Announces HELP Subcommittee Hearing on Disparities in Life Expectancy

The hearing follows a new CDC report finding 2020 was the deadliest year for overdose deaths on record

WASHINGTON, July 15 – Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Thursday announced that the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security will hold a hearing Wednesday, July 21 at 10 a.m. ET titled, “Addressing Disparities in Life Expectancy.”

The hearing follows a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released this week that found deaths from drug overdoses surpassed 93,000 in 2020, a record-breaking jump of nearly 30% since the year before, with opioids continuing to drive the overdose death toll as it has for years.

Working age Americans are now more likely to die before the age of 65 than their peers in other major wealthy nations, according to a report released in March by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The increased rates and broad disparities of mortality for working age adults in the United States – due in large part to the opioid epidemic, substance abuse, suicides, and the obesity crisis – disproportionately affect people living in poverty, people with less education, communities of color, and women.

While COVID killed more than 400,000 people last year, overdose fatalities have become one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. over the past quarter century, with more than 900,000 people dying from overdoses since the national opioid epidemic began around 1999.

Chairman Sanders has invited a number of witnesses to testify to the life expectancy disparities in the U.S. and ways to address this issue across the country.

Full list of witnesses to be announced.

Hearing Details
What: Hearing of the Subcommittee on “Addressing Disparities in Life Expectancy”
When: Wednesday, July 21, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET
Where: Room 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.
Who: To be announced