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  • Washington Highlights

    Pandemic Preparedness Measures Passed as Part of FY 2023 Omnibus

    Contacts

    Allyson Perleoni, Manager, Government Relations
    Sinead Hunt, Legislative Analyst
    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations
    For Media Inquiries

    President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (H.R. 2617) into law on Dec. 29, 2022, a year-end government funding package that includes substantial policies to address pandemic preparedness. The House passed the package on Dec. 23, 2022, by a vote of 225-201, following Senate passage on Dec. 22, 2022, by a vote of 68-29 after prolonged negotiations to reach an agreement on various procedural issues. 

    The $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, introduced by congressional appropriators on Dec. 20, also included provisions relevant to academic medicine including discretionary funding for all 12 annual spending bills and a host of other health policies, including a number related to Medicare, Medicaid, and patient care [refer to related stories on appropriations and patient care measures.] 

    A majority of the pandemic preparedness policies included originated from the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats (PREVENT) Pandemics Act (S. 3799). Earlier this year the AAMC submitted comments to then Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on their legislation [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 11, 2022]. 

    Key elements from the PREVENT Pandemics Act in the year-end package include: 

    • A new requirement for Senate confirmation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director beginning Jan. 20, 2025. 
    • Establishment of an advisory committee to the CDC director. 

    • Establishment of the White House Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy. 

    • Passage of the AAMC-supported Tracking Pathogens Act (S. 3534), to expand activities related to detection and sequencing of pathogens, including through partnerships with academic institutions. 

    • Reauthorization of the public health loan repayment program under Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII programs. 

    • A grant mechanism to establish the Centers for Public Health Preparedness and Response, including funding opportunities for institutions of higher education. 

    • Authorization of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) within the National Institutes of Health [refer to related story]. 

    • Provisions to improve safety and security in relation to research with pathogens of pandemic potential. 

    • Provisions to address undue foreign influence in research, including a requirement for the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a risk framework for the conduct of federally funded research involving human genomic information that considers any associated national security risks. 

    • Policies to modernize and strengthen the Strategic National Stockpile and pandemic response supply chain. 

    • Provisions to enhance public health data collection and response efforts at the state, local, and Tribal community levels. 

    Previously, the AAMC joined 40 other organizations in a Nov. 15, 2022, letter urging Congress to include provisions of the PREVENT Pandemics Act in their year-end package.