The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization of 2011, which will next be considered by the full Senate, according to a HELP Committee spokesman.
Senate panel OKs preparedness measure
The House already passed its version of a PAHPA reauthorization bill, and both versions would set annual funding for hospital preparedness and surge capacity funding at $378 million.
The bill has the backing of the American Public Health Association, though the group believes the “legislation does not provide state and local health departments with adequate flexibility in the redeployment of staff during a public health emergency,” according to a letter to four senators who are among those sponsoring the bill. “The recent outbreak of the H1N1 flu demonstrated the perils of inadequate staffing: States were often unable to respond quickly in providing vaccines, informing the public about prevention measures, and disseminating medications,” according to the letter.
Senate sponsors or co-sponsors of the bill include: Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), HELP Committee Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
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