The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today voted 22-1 to approve the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (S. 2852), legislation that would reauthorize the Hospital Preparedness Program and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program through 2023, among other provisions. Without reauthorization, the preparedness programs are set to expire Sept. 30. In a letter yesterday to the committee, AHA expressed support for the bill's provision reauthorizing the HPP, but urged the committee to increase the program’s authorization level to at least $515 million for fiscal years 2019 through 2023, which it called “a more appropriate level of investment in emergency preparedness as threats and risks continue to emerge.” AHA also expressed disappointment that the bill does not permit hospital associations, academic medical centers and health systems to compete alongside state and city public health departments for being the HPP awardee in each jurisdiction. 

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