The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) convened for votes on multiple bills relating to medical research, funding and programs. Three bills were passed together, the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act and the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0. These bills were voted out of committee by a 20 to 1 margin. The Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforces Act was also up for consideration and underwent a lengthy amendment process.

The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act will reauthorize programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s research on babies born prematurely, with the goal producing better outcomes for premature babies. It also investigates the factors leading to preterm birth. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act continues the CDC’s support for state-based committees to review morality rates and causes. It also authorizes the communication of best practices for maternal care to healthcare facilities. Finally, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0, reauthorizes funding for pediatric cancer and birth defect research. With the funding expiration date coming at the end of September, these acts are crucial to the continuation of these programs to support child welfare through pregnancy and childhood.

By Pasha Ceniceros, Policy Intern