House Advances Five Bipartisan Bills to Improve Public Health

June 25, 2014

Upton: “The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, under the leadership of Rep. Joe Pitts, has been a workhorse that boasts an outstanding record of bipartisan accomplishment on legislation that truly touches people’s lives.”

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives last night advanced five bipartisan public health bills led by the Energy and Commerce Committee, building on the committee’s efforts to improve public health. Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) noted that these bills “will help individuals with traumatic brain injuries, newborns, burn patients, and those with autism. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, under the leadership of Rep. Joe Pitts, has been a workhorse that boasts an outstanding record of bipartisan accomplishment on legislation that truly touches people’s lives.”

Speaking in support of New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith’s H.R. 4631, the Autism CARES Act, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) said, “Autism awareness and research is something people from all walks of life can support. One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. Let me say that again, one in 68. That is a disturbing statistic. This legislation will help direct autism research on a federal level. This research is vital and I am glad that my colleagues and I have come together in a bipartisan manner to continue autism research, early identification, intervention, and education.”

 

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Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) urged his colleagues to support H.R. 4080, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act, a bill he authored with Rep. Gene Greene (D-TX). “Trauma is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 65, it’s expensive… it affects individuals of all ages 35 million times each year…,” said Burgess “H.R. 4080 reauthorizes…grant programs that support the regionalization of emergency care and trauma systems across the country.”

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H.R. 3548, the Improving Trauma Care Act “seeks to refine inconsistent definitions of what constitutes trauma as outlined in the United States code,” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), the bill’s author, explained. “By modernizing this term as federally defined, Congress can ensure that it accurately reflects the medical realities of trauma and protects access to the provision of trauma care.”

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H.R. 1281 reauthorizes federal programs that provide assistance to states to improve and expand their newborn screening programs, support parent and provider education, and ensure laboratory quality and surveillance,” said Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), speaking in support of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act, authored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). “Newborn screening is an important public health program for testing every newborn for certain conditions not apparent at birth. This early screening and diagnosis can be life changing for these children and their families.”

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Speaking in support of H.R. 1098, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act, authored by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Pitts said, “More than 3.17 million Americans live with a disability that resulted from a traumatic brain injury, including children and adults, athletes and soldiers. The prevention and surveillance work done at the Centers for Disease Control keeps the public and providers aware TBI research that leads to early diagnoses and treatment. Research at the National Institutes of Health improves the understanding of TBI and identifies treatments that will improve lives. Programs available at the Health Resources and Services Administration help families to better care for their members who suffer from a TBI.”

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Learn more about each of these bills online here.

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