WASHINGTON, DC – Streamlining how hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control handle terror attacks, natural disasters and disease outbreaks would be made possible through a bill that has passed the U.S. House and co-written by Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks.
The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 (PAHPA)would provide more federal money for vaccines, equipment such as hazmat suits and allow more money for researching diseases such as Ebola and Zika.
The bill also renews several health-readiness programs, but changes how some money is spent. Health agencies would be able to respond immediately to emergencies instead of having to run to Congress for funding. And the bill borrows Indiana's model to focus on regional planning instead of individual hospitals.
“It has been 17 years since anthrax attacks infected more than 17 people and ended five people’s lives,” said Brooks. “Since then, the threat of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incident has not dissipated, but instead continues to grow.
“I am proud this comprehensive bill ensures our health care professionals are trained to respond to possible pandemic outbreaks, prioritizes the further development of our national stockpile of vaccines, medical equipment and diagnostics, and establishes new advisory groups focused on protecting vulnerable populations such as senior citizens and people with disabilities during public health threats and emergencies,” said Brooks.
The bill was also co-written by Anna Eshoo (D-CA) along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).
The bill is now being considered by the U.S. Senate.
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