Approved: Latta’s Bill Strengthening American Preparedness for Public Health Threats Passes E&C Health Subcommittee
HEALING Response Act aims to help rapidly produce medical countermeasures in the event of a public health emergency
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Bob Latta’s (R-OH5) legislation, the Helping Evaluate Appropriate Logistical Infrastructure for National Government (HEALING) Response Act, was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. The bill will ensure the United States is prepared to mass produce medical countermeasures, such as medicines and medical supplies, in the case of a public health emergency or public health threats.
The bill is co-led by Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL2) and is part of a broader package, the Pandemic and All-Hazard Preparedness (PAHPA) Reauthorization Act, which now awaits full Energy and Commerce Committee consideration.
“The time to plan for emergencies is before they arise, especially when it comes to Americans’ health and safety,” Latta said. “Once a public health threat is evident, it is important to be able to appropriately address this situation as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to save lives. The HEALING Response Act will ensure our health care system has the ability and capacity to mass produce medical countermeasures faster upon the announcement of a public health emergency or threat. I am pleased to work with Congresswoman Kelly on this important bipartisan legislation and look forward to its next step: full Energy and Commerce Committee consideration.”
“As we reflect on the tragedy our country endured because of COVID-19, we are left wondering if our government is prepared to address another pandemic,” Kelly said. “I am proud to cosponsor the HEALING Act of 2023 with Rep. Bob Latta to answer these questions and help Congress plan ahead and act quickly should we face another pandemic. This bill would direct the U.S. Comptroller General to review the status of existing preparedness efforts and make recommendations regarding programs to produce medical countermeasures domestically. We can’t go just go on offense against the next pandemic, we need to build our defensive systems now to save lives later.”
HEALING Response Act:
H.R. 3703 – the HEALING Response Act – would require the U.S. Comptroller General to review and issue recommendations regarding the status of existing efforts and programs rapidly to produce medical countermeasures domestically, including the Centers for Innovation and Advanced Drug Manufacturing, the National Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Partnership, and Industrial Base Expansion Connect.
Background on PAHPA:
PAHPA was first signed into law in 2006 to improve the nation’s health security and advance U.S. public health and medical preparedness. It also strengthened immediate response capabilities for a range of public health security threats, whether deliberate, accidental, or natural. Over the years, PAHPA has been reauthorized and revised based on lessons learned from prior public health emergency responses. These reauthorizations established and enhanced many federal emergency response programs, including the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), and more.