E&C Committee passes Green's Health Centers Renewal Act of 2007
Washington, D.C. – Today the Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously approved three important public health bills. Each of the bills, H.R. 1343, H.R. 5669 and H.R. 1553, were approved by voice vote and will now be forwarded for consideration by the full House of Representatives for consideration.
“These important public health bills will increase Federal investments in community health centers, strengthen poison control centers, and improve pediatric cancer research,” said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. “I commend my colleagues, especially Reps. Pallone, Deal, Green, Towns and Solis, for their work on these bills. I look forward to supporting these bills on the House floor.”
"Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee approved three vitally important bills addressing childhood cancer, poisonous materials and Community Health Centers," said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health. "As more Americans join the ranks of the uninsured, the demands on our state's health centers are growing exponentially. I am particularly proud of the committee's work in reauthorizing the Community Health Centers program, which will provide more resources to strengthen our health centers and help them fulfill the role they play in guaranteeing millions of Americans access to quality health services."
- H.R. 1343, the “Health Centers Renewal Act of 2007,” sponsored by Rep. Gene Green(D-TX), would provide additional appropriations for health centers to meet the health care needs of medically underserved populations. An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, offered by Green was approved by voice vote and would give the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary the authority to recognize the unique needs of high poverty areas for planning grants for new health centers.
- H.R. 5669, the “Poison Center Support, Enhancement, and Awareness Act of 2008,” sponsored by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), would reauthorize the poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and grant program to provide assistance for poison prevention, and sustain the funding of poison centers.
- H.R. 1553, the “Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2008,” would advance medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers, ensure patients and families have access to the current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers, establish a population-based national childhood cancer database, and promote public awareness of pediatric cancers. An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, offered by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), was approved by voice vote and would ensure that the public awareness provisions will be culturally and linguistically appropriate for patients and families. The amendment also changes the short title of H.R. 1553 in memory of Rep. Deborah Pryce’s nine-year-old daughter, Caroline, who lost her battle against a rare for of cancer called neuroblastoma on September 4, 1999.
“Health centers represent our nation’s largest primary health care system and serve as a medical home to more than fifteen million Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom are low-income or uninsured individuals. This bill will double the number Americans that can be served in these health centers,” Green said. “By providing the medically underserved with primary and preventive health care, federally-qualified health centers have also reduced the need for in-patient and specialty care and help to depopulate our overcrowded emergency rooms.”
"The Poison Center Support, Enhancement, and Awareness Act of 2008 ensures a critical part of our national health network continues to perform a vital service in preventing deaths from the ingestion of poison,” said Towns. “The nation is well served by the 61 national poison control centers (PCCs). The lives of many Americans, especially children and seniors, have been saved by PCCs. Therefore, I am very pleased that H.R. 5669 made it out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and hope for fast passage in the Senate and presentment for the President's signature.”
The Committee also approved a resolution, offered by Rep. Whitfield (R-KY), to go to Conference on H.R. 4040, the “Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act of 2007.” This legislation was approved by the House on December 19, 2008, and by the Senate on March 8, 2008.
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