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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published March 23, 2022

American Association of College of Nursing - Washington Weekly - Your Inside Track to Federal Policy

AACN Attends ASPR Quarterly Stakeholder Call

On March 9, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) held its quarterly stakeholder call regarding COVID-19 therapeutics. Dr. Jason Roos, Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services ASPR Countermeasures Acceleration Group, discussed ways to accelerate strategies to effectively mitigate emerging public health threats. To learn more, click here.

Senate HELP Committee Considers and Advances PREVENT Pandemics Act

On March 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee considered and advanced the bipartisan Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics (PREVENT Pandemics) Act (S. 3799). During the markup, committee members offered various amendments, including the following that were adopted:

  • $177.270 million for the Nurse Corps for fiscal year (FY) 2023. This amendment was offered by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
  • Creation of an Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy to help prepare and respond to future pandemics.  
  • Authorization of the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H), a legislative initiative originally introduced by HELP Committee Chairwoman, Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC).

AACN has actively engaged in advancing this legislation, including submitting comments on the PREVENT Pandemics Act discussion draft. While some of our key legislation was not included, we are appreciative of comments made by Senator Sanders and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) during the markup highlighting the need for further investments in nursing education, nurse faculty, and the profession. We look forward to working with Congress as they advance a pandemic package.

HHS Update: ACA Anniversary and SAMHSA Funding Announcement

On March 18, the U.S Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) released statements celebrating the twelve-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010. HHS will be holding a weeklong celebration to highlight the benefits of the ACA from March 21 through March 25, 2022, with the theme of advancing health equity for all Americans. To learn more, click here.

Separately, HHS also announced three funding opportunities, totaling nearly $44 million, for services for individuals at risk or living with HIV/AIDS. This funding will help strengthen mental health and substance use services, with the aim of increasing access to care. To learn more about this funding announcement, click here.

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