Next legislation to pass: re-authorizing the General Authority for Phytosanitary

The Epidemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act is up for reauthorization this year — giving Congress an opportunity to bolster the nation’s health disaster preparedness infrastructure and perhaps a place for other healthcare bills.

why does it matter: COVID-19 has exposed cracks in the country’s health security system, and despite the inclusion of the recent sweeping bill Several pandemic preparedness measuresExperts say much more needs to be done before the next public health disaster strikes.

The Big Picture: PAHPA considers legislation a must through its mandate for commission members. The policies won’t end if their current mandate expires, but committee members want to make sure they have a hand in overseeing the programs.

  • Cross-lane cooperation will be required to get a new version of PAHPA across the finish line And that’s not exactly what the House knows these days.
  • Can the committees work together in a bipartisan way? “I’m dubious, to be honest,” a senior GOP aide told Axios. “I want to say yes, but I don’t know if they can.”
  • The good news: If they can do that, the alcoholic beverages employees got during the last reauthorization (pictured above) can come back.

Backstory: First accredited in 2006, PAHPA created the position of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS, as well as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for other programs.

  • Congress reinstated and added the legislation in 2013 and 2019. The latter’s authorization expires at the end of fiscal year 2023.

The next version of the General Authority for Statistics It can improve the coordination of ASPR, Recently renamed said Taylor Sexton, executive director of the new advocacy group, the Medical Countermeasures Alliance.

  • John Reid, chief medical officer of the Medical Countermeasures Coalition, added that Congress could also address the development of medical countermeasures, the Strategic National Stockpile, and the deployment of countermeasures during a crisis.
  • This is also an opportunity to add more accountability to pandemic preparedness, said Anand Parekh, chief medical advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has a think tank Recommended That Congress create a National Epidemic Preparedness Council to assess state and federal crisis capacity.

What we watch: Analysts and aides said that if the authorization is passed as a standalone bill, lawmakers could use it as an opportunity to pass other healthcare policies.

  • “I think many will see this as an opportunity to attach different parts to it, which could slow down the process or complicate negotiations,” Sexton said.

  • But PAHPA itself may also be passed as part of a larger package, Chris Mickens, an analyst at Raymond James, noted. He believes this scenario is the most likely.

details: HELP and Energy and Commerce have jurisdiction over legislation.

  • In the House, Rep. Richard Hudson will be the GOP leader, and Rep. Anna Echo is expected to continue as the Democrats’ lead. It is not yet clear who will play those roles in the Senate now that Sen. Richard Burr — the champion of the original legislation — has retired.
  • Hudson’s priorities for legislation include strengthening public-private partnerships, strengthening health infrastructure leadership, and building on Operation Warp Speed, his communications director told Axios.

What then: The timetable for the re-authorization of the GSPC is not clear. “We’ll have discussions, but I don’t know when…we’ll talk again,” Rep. Frank Pallone told Axios in the room Tuesday. We invite you to do so, Congressman!

  • Robert Kadlec, who served as ASPR under the Trump administration, said the reauthorization could be delayed until early 2024. He was also the director of staff for the Bohr subcommittee the first time the PAHPA passed.
  • “The key thing is getting what needs to be done right,” Kadlec added. (Reauthorization was delayed the last time Congress adopted the legislation.)

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