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Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act that aims to bolster the nation's public health preparedness infrastructure.

In particular, I want to thank Congressman Rogers for including key provisions that enhance the nation's ability to care for the critically ill and injured in the aftermath of a public health emergency. This includes section two that adds the critical care system to the National Health Security Strategy's medical preparedness goals, to ensure that critical care is prioritized in planning efforts to increase preparedness in respect to public health emergencies.

We must understand the significant role critical care medicine plays in providing high quality health care for the critically ill and injured in the context of public health preparedness.

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic highlighted some of the deficiencies in current federal critical care preparedness efforts, as hospitals and intensive care units faced very real shortages of ventilators and federal officials scrambled to identify solutions to mitigate this potential life threatening situation.

In order to ensure that the nation's critical care system is structured to provide the highest quality and most efficient health care, including during a national health emergency, I joined with Congresswoman Baldwin earlier this year to introduce the Critical Care Assessment and Improvement Act (H.R. 971). This legislation is designed to identify gaps in the current critical care delivery model and bolster capabilities to meet future demand. Today's bill includes provisions that reflect some of the national preparedness priorities from in H.R. 971.

We must ensure that critical care medicine is given sufficient consideration by the Administration in respect to disaster preparedness efforts.

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