Today, we are marking up six bills H.R. 1206, the Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2011; H.R. 6118, the Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act of 2012; H.R. 1063, the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011; H.R. 6163, the National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2012; H.R. 4124, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2012 and, H.R. 733, the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012.
For the sake of time, I will highlight only three of these bills in my opening statement.
H.R. 4124, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2012, introduced by Mr. Kinzinger, would give states demonstration grants to study how to better integrate military medics into civilian EMT jobs.
During the legislative hearing on this bill in July, we learned that emergency response is a crucial component of our healthcare system, as EMTs are often the first point of contact in a crisis situation and their care can make the difference between life and death.
Emergency response is even more crucial on the battlefield, where military medics respond to emergencies and provide care for the soldiers until a physician or other health professional can take over.
These soldiers trained as combat medics become very experienced dealing with massive trauma injuries and other complex health problems.
It seems that utilizing those with combat medic experience in our EMT workforce here at home would be good for the returning soldiers, good for the healthcare system, and good for patients.
Next, H.R. 6163, the National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2012, will establish research networks and consortia that can address the unmet health needs of children especially those with rare pediatric disease.
Through my association with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, I am aware that there are too many diseases that children and their families face that do not have easy answers and adequate treatments.
Since collaboration is so important to finding better answers, the funding of pediatric research consortia is a critical step.
It will strengthen basic and clinical research and increase the number of researchers dedicated to finding new treatments and cures.
Finally, H.R. 733, the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act of 2012, will bring new hope to patients with cancers that have low survival rates.
The bill will direct the National Institutes of Health to establish a scientific framework for the study of deadly cancers that sadly have not seen improved outcomes in decades.
Working groups will be appointed to assist the Director in preparing the framework that will include a review of current research, an identification of unanswered medical and scientific questions, and promising discoveries.
The NIH would then be required to issue a report to Congress with recommendations on the effectiveness of the scientific framework model.
Specifically, I want to recognize the efforts of Ms. Eshoo and Mr. Lance on this important bill.