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Pallone & Eshoo Praise House Passage of 15 Health Bills

Dec 8, 2021
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 15 health bills:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored just how essential it is to invest in our nation’s public health by providing caregivers, providers, and patients with the resources and support they need. With the passage of these 15 bills, Congress is continuing its work to ensure the well-being of the American people by making necessary investments and providing support for frontline health workers and patients.  

“These bills will provide resources to fund our nation’s public health and biomedical research, help find effective cures and treatments for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, advance critical preventative care, and bolster public health education. We also passed legislation that will provide resources to combat the ongoing substance abuse epidemic, increase access to life-saving vaccines, make critical improvements to maternal health care, and address social determinants of health. We’re proud of the bipartisan support these bills received and look forward to their consideration in the Senate.”

The House of Representatives passed the following 15 bills:

H.R. 3537, the “Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act,” was introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and 99 original cosponsors. The bill, among other things, would award grants to certain small drug manufacturers to cover costs related to expanding access to patients not eligible for clinical trials of investigational drugs intended to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, or cure of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and research on such investigational drugs. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 423-3.

H.R. 5487, the “Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education for Autumn Act of 2021” or the “SHINE for Autumn Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). The bill would authorize grants to states for surveillance and data collection relating to stillbirth and stillbirth risk factors, develop guidelines and educational materials for state departments of health, and support a Perinatal Pathology Fellowship Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to increase research on stillbirth. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 408-18.  

H.R. 5561, the “Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). The bill would reauthorize the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and NIH, and would require a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study analyzing how State EHDI programs are relied upon by parents and identify ways to address disparities in outreach. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 410-17.

H.R. 5551, the “Improving the Health of Children Act,” was introduced by Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Lori Trahan (D-MA), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Richard Hudson (R-NC). The bill would reauthorize the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the CDC, expand the scope of programmatic work, and increase the overall authorization level for NCBDDD. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 405-20.

H.R. 1193, the “Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy Act” or the “CAROL Act,” was introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY). The bill would authorize a grant program administered by NIH in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to support research on valvular heart disease (VHD) and for convening a workshop of subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify research needs and treatment guidelines for individuals diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, a type of VHD. The bill also requires the CDC to carry out projects to increase education, awareness, or diagnosis of VHD, and to reduce cardiac deaths caused by VHD, including publishing best practices for physicians and health care providers who provide care to individuals with VHD. The bill passed on the House Floor by a voice vote.  

H.R. 1667, the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act,” was introduced by Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) and 14 original cosponsors. The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to disseminate best practices to prevent suicide and improve mental health and resiliency among health care providers, and to establish a national awareness campaign to encourage health care providers to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns. In addition, the bill would award grants or contracts to promote mental health among health care professionals and to support relevant mental and behavioral health training for health care students, residents, or professionals. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 392-36.

H.R. 4555, the “Oral Health Literacy and Awareness Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). The bill would require HRSA to establish a public education campaign across all relevant programs to increase oral health literacy and awareness. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 369-58.

H.R. 2355, the “Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2021,” was introduced by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Bilirakis, 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 passed on the House Floor by a vote of 410-15.  

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 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 who may be at high risk of exposure to synthetic opioids that details how to prevent such exposure. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 411-14.

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. Hudson and Eshoo. The bill would increase the transfer authority of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for funding to their supporting foundations, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 374-52.

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. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) 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 the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It also requires that the guidance be updated every three years. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 378-48.  

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 Blunt Rochester. The bill would require, among other things, the GAO to submit to Congress within two years of enactment a report on the actions taken by the Secretary of HHS to address social determinants of health. The bill passed on the House Floor by a vote of 399-28.  

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 also 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 passed on the House Floor by a vote of 294-130.  

H.R. 951, the “Maternal Vaccination Act,” was introduced by Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and 44 original cosponsors. The bill would require the CDC to incorporate efforts to increase awareness of maternal vaccinations for pregnant and postpartum individuals and their children into the national vaccination awareness campaign and increases the authorization for such campaign by $2 million per year to $17 million per year. The bill passed on the House Floor by a 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. Castor 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 passed on the House Floor by a voice vote.  

These bills advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Committee by a voice vote at either a full Committee markup in November or July.

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