DeLauro Reintroduces the Public Health Emergency Fund Act
WASHINGTON, DC (February 10, 2016) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today reintroduced the Public Health Emergency Fund Act, which would fund the existing public health emergency fund with $5 billion.
“As we fight the second major public health emergency in two years, first Ebola and now the Zika virus, having resources in the emergency fund is essential to enacting an effective response strategy. Rather than waiting for money to be requested, and then having a debate in Congress on funding, we should allocate resources ahead of time in order to more successfully fight the spread of disease and save lives,” said Rosa DeLauro.
“The research and treatment measures developed by the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are invaluable to our response to diseases like Zika and we cannot allow our response to be slowed by Congressional lethargy,” continued DeLauro. “We have a moral duty to address these crises and we absolutely must address the funding ahead of time, rather than in the midst of them. Congress has already enacted the fund. Now all we need to do is fund it.”
The Public Health Emergency Fund was established in 1983 and has only been funded twice. Resources in the fund are to be disbursed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services upon declaration of a public health emergency, similar to how the Disaster Relief Fund alleviates state and local needs after a natural disaster.
DeLauro is the senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).