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Pallone & Eshoo on House Passage of 16 Health Care Bills

Oct 1, 2020
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) released the following joint statement today after the House of Representatives passed 16 health care bills on the Floor this week: 

“Energy and Commerce passed 16 health care bills on the House Floor this week with bipartisan support that will improve and invest in our nation’s health. As we continue to respond to the coronavirus, it is important that Congress also continue to support comprehensive public health efforts in order to prevent other public health crises. The legislation passed by the House this week includes several bills to improve and expand access to mental health care, added support for substance use disorder services, and new programs and resources for suicide prevention efforts. 

“The House also addressed the maternal mortality crisis by encouraging states to keep new mothers on Medicaid by covering them for a longer period of time postpartum. We also passed legislation to improve breast cancer and heart health awareness, strengthen the quality of care in schools for our children, and incentivize the development of new lifesaving treatments and cures. Additionally, the House passed legislation to address inequities in mental health and in the collection and availability of public health data for Tribes, which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

“We thank the members for their leadership on these important issues, and we look forward to the Senate passing them so they can be signed into law.”

The House of Representatives passed the following bills: 

H.R. 4764, the “Timely ReAuthorization of Necessary Stem-cell Programs Lends Access to Needed Therapies Act of 2019” or the “TRANSPLANT Act of 2019,” introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME). The bill reauthorizes the C.W. Bill Young Transplantation Program at level funding of $30 million each year from Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 through FY 2025. The bill would also require Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation to meet at least twice a year and require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review the state of the science related to adult stem cells and birthing tissues for the purpose of potentially including these innovative therapies in the Program. The bill would also reauthorize the cord blood inventory program under the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 at level funding of $23 million for each year from FY 2021 through FY 2025. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 414 - 0.  

H.R. 5373, the “United States Anti-Doping Agency Reauthorization Act of 2020,” introduced by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Diana DeGette (D-CO). The legislation authorizes the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the entity charged with administering anti-doping programs for certain sports in the United States, through the end of FY 2029. In anticipation of hosting the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, this bill steadily increases the authorization past the Olympic year through FY 2029. The bill would direct USADA to promote positive youth sports experiences. It would also require certain federal agencies to coordinate with USADA on efforts to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs or prohibit performance-enhancing methods by sharing information that may be relevant to preventing the use of such drugs or prohibiting such methods. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 4078, the “EARLY Act Reauthorization of 2019,” introduced by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Susan Brooks (R-IN). The bill reauthorizes the “Young Women’s Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act of 2009.” This program was authorized and funded at $4.9 million each year from FY 2015 through FY 2019. The bill would increase the authorization to $9 million each year from FY 2021 through FY 2025. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 4996, the “Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services Act of 2019” or the “Helping MOMS Act of 2019,” introduced by Reps. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA). The bill provides a state option to extend Medicaid coverage for women for a year postpartum. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 3131, the “South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act of 2020,” introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), along with 16 other Members of Congress. The bill authorizes the Secretary of HHS to award heart health promotion grants to States for heart health awareness initiatives, educational materials, and training workshops for communities disproportionately impacted by heart disease. It also authorizes the Secretary to conduct or support research regarding cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other heart health-related ailments among at risk populations, including the South Asian populations. The Secretary may also establish research catalogs for existing heart health research and treatment options. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote. 

H.R. 2468, the “School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act,” introduced by Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Phil Roe (R-TN). The legislation adds a preference for grants to those states that have additional access to certain health care professionals and programs. To be eligible for this preference, states would have to require: (1) the presence of a school nurse or other trained personnel on school premises during school operating hours; (2) that there be a school-based allergies and asthma program, including a method to identify all students in the school with a diagnosis of allergies and asthma; (3) an individual student allergies and asthma action plan for each student with a diagnosis of allergies and asthma; (4) education for staff about allergies and asthma; (5) efforts to reduce environmental triggers of allergies and asthma; and (6) a coordinated support system for students. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 5572, the “Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020,” introduced by Reps. David Trone (D-MD) and Daniel Meuser (R-PA). The bill authorizes the Secretary of HHS to award grants to support family community organizations that develop, expand, and enhance evidence-informed family support services for families and family members living with substance use disorders or addiction. The grants may be used to build connections between family support networks, with behavioral health and primary care providers, and foster care services, among others. The grant may also be used to reduce stigma around addiction and addiction treatment, family support outreach activities, and connect families to peer support programs. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 2075, the “School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act of 2019,” introduced by Reps. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Fred Upton (R-MI). The bill reauthorizes funding for the school-based health centers program through FY 2025, and make technical changes, including allowing more health centers serving medically underserved children and adolescents to qualify for funding. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 7948, the “Tribal Health Data Improvement Act of 2020,” introduced by Reps. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), McMorris Rodgers, Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), and Raul Ruiz (D-CA). The bill addresses longstanding disparities in the collection and availability of public health data with respect to Indian Tribes by amending the Public Health Service Act to strengthen the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address and improve public health data sharing to Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Tribal epidemiology centers (TECs). The legislation also requires the Secretary of HHS to report on existing data sharing agreements between states, CDC, and tribal communities and identify best practices. The legislation also reauthorizes CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 5469, the “Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act,” introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and eight other Members of Congress. The bill would authorize federal funding to address mental health inequities among underserved populations, including communities of color. The bill includes provisions that would: create a grant program targeted at high-poverty communities for culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services; support research into disparities in mental health; reauthorize the Minority Fellowship Program to support more students of color entering the mental health workforce; and study the impact of smartphones and social media on adolescents. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 1109, the “Mental Health Services for Students Act,” introduced by Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and John Katko (R-NY). The bill authorizes grants to fund school-based mental health services. The program would support screening for social, emotional, mental, and behavioral issues, including suicide or substance use disorders; treatment and referral for these issues; development of evidence-based programs for students experiencing these issues; and other strategies for schools to support students and the communities that surround them. The goal of the program is to create partnerships between schools and community-based mental health professionals across the country. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 2519, the “Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act of 2020,” introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA). The bill authorizes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to award grants to qualifying emergency departments for the purpose of supporting mental health services. Grant recipients must use funds to support the provision of follow-up services for individuals who present for care of acute mental health episodes, such as placement in appropriate facilities. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 4861, the “Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act,” introduced by Reps. Bilirakis and Eliot Engel (D-NY). The bill creates a grant program to improve the identification, assessment, and treatment of patients in emergency departments who are at risk for suicide by: developing policies and procedures for identifying and assessing individuals who are at risk of suicide; and enhancing the coordination of care for such individuals after discharge. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 7293, the “Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act of 2020,” or the “STANDUP Act of 2020,” introduced by Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Bilirakis. The bill requires State and Tribal educational agencies that receive SAMHSA Project Aware grants to establish and implement a school-based student suicide awareness and prevention training policy and collect information on training activities. The training policy would be focused on grades six through 12 and would train students on self-harm and suicidal ideation. The bill would also ensure the school-based policies are culturally and linguistically appropriate. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 3539, the “Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act of 2020,” introduced by Reps. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA). The bill requires SAMHSA to develop best practices for schools to establish behavioral intervention teams and properly train them on how to intervene and avoid inappropriate use of mental health assessments and law enforcement. No later than one year after enactment, best practices shall be made publicly available on an HHS website. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote. 

H.R. 4439, the “Creating Hope Reauthorization Act,” introduced by Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Michael McCaul (R-TX). The bill extends the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Pediatric Rare Disease Priority Review Voucher (PRV) program for four years. Under this program, certain manufacturers of rare pediatric disease drugs can be eligible for a voucher that can be used or transferred to obtain a priority review for a subsequent drug after the date of approval of the rare pediatric disease drug. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.