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Pallone & Eshoo on House Passage of Ten Health Care Bills

Sep 21, 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 after the House of Representatives passed ten health care bills on the Floor today:

“The Energy and Commerce Committee continued to fulfill its role as the health care workhorse of Congress today with the passage of ten bipartisan bills on the House Floor.  

“These bills address shortcomings and make strategic improvements throughout our health care system. They address the maternal mortality crisis, study and prevent sudden infant and child death, ensure Medicaid beneficiaries have access to non-emergency medical transportation and support programs to prevent self-harm and suicide. 

“The House also passed legislation to strengthen our Strategic National Stockpile, which is so critical as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future public health emergencies. Finally, the House passed innovative legislation to further develop a national continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing industry and to empower the Food and Drug Administration to destroy unsafe medical devices.  

“We’re proud of the hard work from members on both sides of the aisle to pass these ten bills and look forward to continuing to work together to get them passed in the Senate and signed into law.”

The House of Representatives passed the following bills:

H.R. 4866, the “National Centers of Excellence in Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Act of 2019,” was introduced by Chairman Pallone and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY). The legislation would amend the 21st Century Cures Act to direct FDA to designate National Centers of Excellence in Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (NCEs). NCEs would work with FDA and industry to craft a national framework for continuous manufacturing implementation, including supporting additional research and development of this technology, workforce development, standardization and collaborating with manufacturers to support adoption of continuous manufacturing. The bill authorizes $80 million to be appropriated for NCEs each year from Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 through FY 2025. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 7574, the “Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act of 2020,” was introduced by Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Susan Brooks (R-IN). The legislation would make several improvements to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and incorporates language from a number of bipartisan bills introduced in the 116th Congress. Specifically, the bill would improve the financial security of the SNS by authorizing the sale of products to other Federal departments or agencies from within six months of product expiration. It would also improve the ability of the SNS to maintain and procure medical supplies by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure that the contents of the SNS are in good working order and, as necessary, conduct maintenance on contents of the stockpile, among other provisions. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 2271, the “Scarlett’s Sunshine on Unexpected Death Act,” was introduced by Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Tom Cole (R-OK) and Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA). The legislation would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revise the Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form, authorize CDC to award grants to improve the completion of comprehensive death scene investigations for sudden unexplained infant death (SUID) and sudden unexplained death in children (SUDC), to increase the rate of comprehensive, standardized autopsies in cases of SUID and SUDC, and to train medical examiners, coroners, death scene investigators, law enforcement, and health professionals on standard death scene investigation protocols. The bill authorizes grants through the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) related to SUD and SUID. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 4995, the “Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019,” was introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), Bob Latta (R-OH), Alma Adams (D-NC) and Steve Stivers (R-OH). The legislation creates new programs in the Public Health Service Act to improve maternal health, including programs to strengthen maternal health quality and access to care in rural areas, programs to address racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes, and grants to implement best practices in maternal health care and strengthen training programs. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 3935, the “Protecting Patients Transportation to Care Act,” was introduced by Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Tom Graves (R-GA) and Sanford Bishop of (D-GA). The legislation would amend the Medicaid statute to include non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) in the list of mandatory Medicaid benefits by codifying current Medicaid NEMT regulations. The bill would also require state Medicaid programs to have in place a utilization management process for the benefit. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 1646, the “Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Act of 2019” or the “HERO Act of 2019,” was introduced by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA). The legislation would create a data system at CDC to capture public safety officer suicide incidences and study successful interventions, authorize grants for peer support behavioral health and wellness programs within fire departments and emergency medical service agencies, and require the development of best practices for addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in public safety officers and educational materials. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 4564, the “Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act of 2019,” was introduced by Reps. John Katko (R-NY), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA). The legislation would increase the authorization funding level of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline program to $50 million each year, from FY 2020 through FY 2022. The bill also directs HHS to establish a plan for maintaining the program and includes a pilot program to research, analyze, and employ various innovative technologies and platforms for suicide prevention. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 4585, the “Campaign to Prevent Suicide Act,” was introduced by Reps. Beyer and Greg Gianforte (R-MT). The legislation would direct HHS, in coordination with CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to carry out a national suicide prevention media campaign to advertise the new 9-8-8 number, when it becomes effective, raise awareness for suicide prevention resources, and cultivate a more effective discourse on how to prevent suicide. The bill would also provide guidance to TV and social media companies on how to talk about suicide by creating a best practices toolkit. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 5619, the “Suicide Prevention Act,” was introduced by Reps. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Matsui. The legislation would establish two grant programs to prevent self-harm and suicide.  The first program would authorize CDC to award grants to State, local, and Tribal health departments to expand surveillance of self-harm and the second program would authorize SAMHSA to award grants to hospital emergency departments for programs to prevent self-harm and suicide attempts among patients after discharge. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.

H.R. 5663, the “Safeguarding Therapeutics Act,” was introduced by Reps. Guthrie and Eliot Engel (D-NY). The legislation would extend FDA’s administrative destruction authority to medical devices, which would allow FDA to destroy certain imported medical devices, such as diagnostic tests or surgical masks in instances where FDA believes such medical devices are adulterated, misbranded or unapproved and may pose a threat to the public health, as the agency currently does with regard to drugs. The bill passed on the House Floor by voice vote.