US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Bipartisan Bill to Better Prepare U.S. for Pandemics and Bioterror Attacks Approved by Senate

Thursday, March 08, 2012

WASHINGTON—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) lauded last night’s Senate approval of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization (PAHPA).  As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Harkin has led this bipartisan effort to ensure that our nation is prepared to respond to a wide range of medical and public health emergencies, whether naturally occurring or the result of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack. 

“The bipartisan legislation approved by the Senate last night is a big step toward ensuring that our country is prepared to respond quickly and effectively to public health emergencies,” said Harkin.  “In particular, it will ensure that our most vulnerable populations, such as Americans with disabilities, are protected.  This legislation is the product of bipartisan cooperation, and I look forward to working with our House colleagues so that we can quickly send it to the President’s desk for his signature.”

Passage of PAHPA will strengthen national preparedness for and responses to medical and public health emergencies and disasters, optimize state and local all-hazards preparedness and response efforts and collaboration, enhance medical countermeasure activities, and reauthorize key medical and public health programs, including the Strategic National Stockpile and the BioShield Special Reserve Fund.

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