Pallone’s Opening Remarks at Health Subcommittee Markup
Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following opening remarks at a Health Subcommittee markup on four public health bills:
Thank you Mr. Chairman. Before us today we have four important bills that will improve public health and help to ensure providers and patients have the tools they need to respond to critical health care issues.
H.R. 767, the SOAR to Health and Wellness Act, establishes a grant program to train healthcare providers to better identify and care for victims of human trafficking. By teaching providers how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to respond, we can ensure that survivors receive the coordinated care they need. I commend Congressmen Cohen Cardenas, Kinzinger and Wagner for their work on this bill.
H.R. 880, the MISSON ZERO Act, establishes a grant program to support trauma centers that allow military trauma teams and personnel to provide care to their patients. Such partnerships between trauma centers and the military can improve access to trauma care in communities across the country, ensure our military trauma personnel remain combat ready, and improve the sharing of knowledge between our civilian and military trauma systems. I would like to thank Chairman Burgess, Ranking Member Green, Congresswoman Castor, and Congressman Hudson for their leadership on this issue.
H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and maintain a voluntary cancer registry for firefighters. This registry will help us better understand the cancer risk factors associated with being a firefighter. The registry will also inform interventions to reduce such risks so we can make sure we are protecting firefighters who risk their lives every day to protect us. I want to thank Congressmen Pascrell and Collins for their leadership on this issue.
And finally, H.R. 2422, the Action for Dental Health Act of 2017 would make grants available at both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) for initiatives to improve oral health for underserved populations. Far too many Americans lack access to affordable dental care. Unfortunately these individuals often end up foregoing care or delaying care to the point where they find themselves in the emergency room. Oral health plays a vital role in an individual’s overall health and happiness and I’m pleased to support initiatives to increase access to care for those who need it. I commend Congresswoman Kelly and Congressman Simpson for their work in introducing this important legislation.
All of these bills are bipartisan and will provide vital resources to address ongoing public health concerns.
I yield back.