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Pallone Applauds Committee Passage of 16 Bipartisan Health Care Bills

Jul 21, 2021
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after the full Committee voted to advance 16 health bills to the full House of Representatives:

“Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee continued its long tradition of working across the aisle to pass 16 bipartisan health care bills. Among the legislation passed today were bills that support development of advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, provide resources to combat the ongoing opioid and substance use epidemic, and work to address social determinants of health. The Committee also passed legislation that will make much-needed improvements to maternal health care in the United States, increase access to life-saving vaccines, and prevent a devastating Medicaid fiscal cliff for Puerto Rico and the other the U.S. territories.

“I’m grateful to members on both sides of the aisle for their work on these important bills that will strengthen the health and well-being of Americans and I look forward to working together to advance these bills to the full House of Representatives.” 

The Committee favorably reported the following bills:

H.R. 4369, the “National Centers of Excellence in Advanced and Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Act,” was introduced by Pallone and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY). The bill would amend the 21st Century Cures Act to direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to designate National Centers of Excellence in Advanced and Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (NCEs). NCEs would work with FDA and industry to craft a national framework for advanced and continuous manufacturing implementation. The bill also authorizes $100 million to be appropriated for NCEs each year from fiscal year (FY) 2021 through FY 2025. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 654, the “Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act,” was introduced by Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA). The bill would allow the Drug-Free Communities program to waive a grantee’s matching requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic if they are unable to meet the match. The bill also increases the administrative cap on the Drug-Free Communities program from eight percent to 12 percent. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 2051, the “Methamphetamine Response Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and John Curtis (R-UT). The bill would designate methamphetamine as an emerging threat and requires the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to develop a national plan to prevent methamphetamine addiction from becoming a crisis. The bill was passed by voice vote.

H.R. 2379, the “State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. David Trone (D-MD) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ). The bill would authorize the State Opioid Response Grant program and would harmonize the uses of these grants with the opioid funding provided under the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill would also require the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess how grant funding is allocated to States, State perspectives on funding levels, and how grant funding is awarded under similar programs. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 2364, the “Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act,” was introduced by Reps. Andy Kim (D-NJ) and Chris Pappas (D-NH). The bill would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement a public education campaign related to synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and its analogues. In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health would be required to publish a training guide and webinar for first responders and other individuals related to exposures to synthetic opioids. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 2355, the “Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Ann Wagner (R-MO). The bill would, among other things, direct federal agencies to develop, disseminate, and periodically update training materials for pharmacists on verifying the identity of the patient receiving a controlled substance prescription. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 4026, the “Social Determinants of Health Data Analysis Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE). The bill would require, among other things, GAO to submit to Congress within two years of enactment a report on the actions taken by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address social determinants of health. The bill was passed by voice vote.

H.R. 3743, the “Supporting the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration Act,” was introduced by Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The bill would authorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and FDA to increase transfer authority for funding to their supporting foundations, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration. The bill was passed by voice vote.

H.R. 550, the “Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act,” was introduced by Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN). The bill would authorize $400 million for grants to expand, enhance, and improve immunization information systems administered by health departments and used by health care providers. The bill would, among other things, direct HHS to develop a strategy to improve immunization information systems, designate data and technology standards for the systems, and award grants to health departments and government organizations to improve their immunization systems based on the developed standards. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 1550, the “Promoting Resources to Expand Vaccination, Education and New Treatments for HPV Cancers Act of 2021” or the “PREVENT HPV Cancers Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA). The bill would promote public awareness of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines, which can prevent HPV and cancers associated with HPV. The bill would also reauthorize and enhance Johanna’s Law, an existing CDC program aimed at preventing and increasing awareness of gynecologic cancers and all HPV-associated cancers. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 951, the “Maternal Vaccination Act,” was introduced by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and 44 original cosponsors. The bill would require existing immunization programs to include outreach efforts to pregnant and postpartum individuals and obstetric care providers, as well update grant programs to include efforts to improve maternal vaccination rates as an allowable use of funds. The existing vaccine outreach authorization would also be increased each FY by $2 million, to $17 million. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 4387, the “Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Bucshon, Alma Adams (D-NC), Burgess, Jahana Hayes (D-CT), and Bob Latta (R-OH). The bill would, among other things, authorize grant funding to identify, develop, or disseminate best practices to improve maternal health quality and outcomes and eliminate preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity. The bill would also establish a grant program to award funding to accredited health professional schools for the training of health care professionals in order improve the provision of maternal health care with respect to perceptions and biases that may affect care. The bill was passed by voice vote.

H.R. 3742, the “Vaccine Information for Nursing Facility Operators Act” or the “Vaccine INFO Act,” was introduced by Reps. Bilirakis and Kathleen Rice (D-NY). The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to issue revised regulations requiring dissemination of information to staff on routine vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for health care personnel, including information on the benefits and potential side effects of receiving the vaccines and where they may receive the vaccines. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 2347, the “Strengthening the Vaccines for Children Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Schrier, G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), David B. McKinley (R-WV), and John Joyce (R-PA). The bill would, among other things, enhance the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides ACIP-recommended vaccines to low-income children. These enhancements include extending eligibility to children enrolled in CHIP, making changes to ensure adequate payment for multi-component vaccines, and providing an eight quarter federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) increase for expenditures on vaccines for beneficiaries under age 19, among other programmatic changes. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 3894, the "Collecting and Analyzing Resources Integral and Necessary for Guidance for Social Determinants Act of 2021" or the “CARING for Social Determinants Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Blunt Rochester and Bilirakis. The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to provide guidance and technical assistance to states on how to address social determinants of health through Medicaid and CHIP. It would require that the guidance be updated every three years. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 4406, the “Supporting Medicaid in the U.S. Territories Act,” was introduced by Reps. Darren Soto (D-FL), Bilirakis, and five other original cosponsors. The bill would provide five years of enhanced Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, and eight years of enhanced Medicaid funding for the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. It would extend the current enhanced FMAP for each of the territories for the length of the time of the increased funding. It would also make certain programmatic improvements to the Puerto Rico Medicaid program, including requiring increased provider payment rates, strengthening program integrity, and improving contracting practices. The bill was passed, as amended, by voice vote.

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