Rep. Rosa DeLauro: Health institutions need strengthening

We finance research and accelerate cures for the most serious diseases impacting American families. We back lifesaving work at the National Institutes of Health, including through the Cancer Moonshot initiative and universal flu vaccine development. Last year, we established the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health to speed the pace of scientific breakthroughs in ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. We advance innovative medical solutions at the Defense Department and medical and prosthetic research at the Department of Veterans Affairs. We also fund investigations into environmental exposures and brain injuries.

Through the VA, we target investments in medical care that over 9 million veterans rely on. We increased access to mental health services for nearly 2 million veterans seeking treatment and support suicide prevention programs tragically growing in demand. We expanded women’s healthcare and gender-specific services, improved substance use disorder and opioid safety programs, and advanced initiatives that treat veterans’ whole health.

We also confront the most urgent health crises Americans face. To address the mental health crisis, we enhanced the ability of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to support prevention, treatment and services like the recently launched 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative that provides help for youth experiencing trauma. We also fund opioid prevention, treatment and recovery programs, especially in underserved communities.

We responded to the maternal health crisis by increasing access to high-quality child health services, enhancing research capabilities, and expanding provider training. And we increased funding for Title X Family Planning services to expand access to the full range of reproductive health services.

Our bills target persistent and unacceptable inequities through research into racial and ethnic health disparities and by expanding access to services in historically underserved areas, including rural and tribal communities.

At the same time, we approach gun violence as a public health emergency by funding gun violence prevention research at the CDC and NIH.

In response to food safety concerns like the infant formula crisis, we strengthened the Food and Drug Administration, safeguarding our supply chains and boosting oversight.

Finally, we reassert American leadership through global health programs and protect the health of people worldwide as we continue to fight COVID-19 and work to prevent future pandemics.

As we rebuild from the devastation of the pandemic and eliminate barriers to high-quality care, I will continue to prioritize the health of Americans today while ensuring our resiliency against future crises.

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