Health Subcommittee Examines Legislation Aimed at Helping Local Communities and Protecting Families

November 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), today held a hearing on “Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Local Communities.” The public health bills reviewed today examined prescription drug abuse, poison control centers, liability protection for volunteer health care professionals at community health centers, newborn screening, tick-borne disease, sudden unexpected death of infants, and traumatic brain injuries.

"Helping America's small towns and protecting families has been one of this subcommittee's key priorities," said Pitts. "Today's legislation before us represents a good starting point as we seek to improve the lives of our constituents, families, and small towns."

“Since the start of this Congress, one of the major priorities of the committee has been helping and protecting families and local communities,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “Back in southwest Michigan and all across the country, families and local communities expect those of us in Washington to work together to solve problems, especially on issues affecting public health.”

The legislation discussed today included:

•           H.R. 1098 – the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), which reauthorizes programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and support TBI surveillance systems and registries.

•           H.R. 1281 – the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), which reauthorizes federal programs that provide assistance to states to improve and expand their newborn screening programs.

•           H.R. 610 – a bill to provide for the establishment of the Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), to ensure interagency coordination and communication on these diseases.

•           H.R. 669 – the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, introduced by subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), which provides for grants to help improve the understanding of sudden unexpected death.

•           H.R. 2703 – the Family Health Care Accessibility Act of 2013, introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), which would provide Federal Torts Claim Act protection for health care professionals who volunteer their time at community health centers.

•           H.R. 3527 - the Poison Control Centers Reauthorization, introduced by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), will reauthorize important activities related to poison control centers.

•           H.R. 3528 - National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Reauthorization Act, introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), will reauthorize the NASPER program to support state prescription drug monitoring programs.

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