A coalition of 29 health care and public health organizations, including the AHA, today urged Congress to pass the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness & Advancing Innovation Act (S. 2852/H.R. 6378) before Congress adjourns for 2018. “The Energy & Commerce and Health Education, Labor & Pensions Committees have made tremendous, bipartisan progress on this important legislation, and it would be a setback for our national health security to delay reauthorization until 2019,” the organizations told congressional leaders. “…We are particularly concerned that several authorities have already expired, including temporary reassignment of state and local personnel and the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters. Other authorities will expire in December, including limited antitrust exemption and other provisions critical to HHS contracting. We believe that time is of the essence in reauthorizing these important authorities.”
Among other provisions, the bill includes AHA-supported provisions changing financing and uses for the Public Health Emergency Fund; reauthorizing the Hospital Preparedness Program at an increased amount, including reserving a percentage of HPP funds for the purpose of developing regional health care emergency preparedness and response systems; and formally keeping the HPP and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program separate under their respective agencies.