Sending Office: Honorable Debbie Dingell
Sent By:
Kevin.Rambosk@mail.house.gov

 

Endorsed by: American Hospital Association, Trust for America’s Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of American Medical Colleges, and National Association of County and City Health Officials

 

Dear Colleague:

Following a year in which we experienced record-setting natural disasters, Congress must be doing everything we can to ensure our health care system has the resources needed to prepare and respond to upcoming disasters.  As a designated critical infrastructure
sector by the Department of Homeland Security, hospitals face other unique threats including infectious diseases outbreaks, bioterrorism, superbugs, and antibiotic resistance.  The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) is an important tool to help hospitals
prepare for the wide array of threats they face and we must ensure it has a robust authorization level.  Please consider cosponsoring the Hospital Preparedness Program Reauthorization Act, which doubles funding for the HPP through FY 2023. 

The Hospital Preparedness Program, created after September 11th, is the only federal funding source that supports efforts by regional health care systems to improve preparedness against all threats.  The program establishes grants and regional
health care coalitions (HCC) that incentivize diverse and often competitive health care organizations with differing priorities to work together to focus on the common needs of the communities and regions that they serve.  The coalitions vary in size and scope—over
475 HCC’s exist nationwide and include more than 31,000 members.[1]

The HPP Reauthorization Act increases the program’s authorization to $515 million for each fiscal year through FY2023, which is equal to its peak funding level in 2004. This would double its current level of appropriated funding.

“Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria combined with devastating Western wildfires and other natural catastrophes to make 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported…”

The Washington Post, 1/8/18

With the devastating hurricane and wildfire seasons we experienced in 2017 and with the scientific community projecting an increase in the severity and frequency of future extreme weather events, robust and sustained funding is now more necessary than ever. 
Additionally, as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ new emergency preparedness rule goes in to effect, health care facilities will need the resources to establish foundational readiness, assess risks and needs for emergency planning, train the
workforce, and ensure preparedness is sustainable for future generations.

By investing in this program and cosponsoring this bill we can harden a critical infrastructure sector and strengthen our readiness.  For any questions or to cosponsor, please contact Kevin Rambosk (kevin.rambosk@mail.house.gov)
in my office at 5-4071. Thank you for your consideration on this important issue.

 

Sincerely,

 

DEBBIE DINGELL                         

Member of Congress  

 

 

 


[1] Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism, December 2017; Trust for America’s Health; P. 69

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, HealthCare, Homeland Security

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