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Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers Who Deliver Infants Early Reauthorization Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1440, as amended, and urge my colleagues to support the bill as well.

As amended, S. 1440 is comprised of the authorization or re-authorization of three different programs, all related to children's health. Together, these provisions constitute a bipartisan effort to help ensure that our kids--and their health care needs--are appropriately and adequately addressed.

Title One of the bill would reauthorize and improve the Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers Who Deliver Infants Early--or PREEMIE--Act. Established in 2006, the PREEMIE Act expands federal research related to preterm labor and delivery, and the care and treatment, and outcomes of preterm and low birth weight infants. It also supports education programs for health professionals and the public on prematurity. Title One is designed to enhance these activities and represents a renewed commitment to our nation's efforts to reduce premature birth, the leading killer of newborns.

Title Two of S. 1440 would allow the National Institutes of Health to establish a national pediatric research network dedicated to finding treatments and cures for pediatric diseases and conditions--especially those that are rare. In addition to the research itself, Title Two places special emphasis on professional training for future pediatric researchers. These and other related components of Title Two are intended to build on the strong body of pediatric research that NIH already conducts and supports. I would encourage NIH to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Finally, Title Three of the bill would reauthorize the children's hospital graduate medical education--or CHGME--program. This program provides ongoing and consistent financial support to hospitals such as Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for the training of doctors who want to specialize in pediatrics. Over the years, the CHGME program has been enormously successful in reversing the significant decline in the number of pediatrician trainees across the country. Indeed, today, children's hospitals nationwide that are supported by the program train 40% of all pediatricians and 43% of all pediatric specialists.

As I have noted, this package of programs is a bi-partisan initiative that reflects the work of several members of the Energy and Commerce Committee. I especially want to note Congresswoman Eshoo, the Democratic sponsor of the original PREEMIE Reauthorization Act; Congresswoman Capps, the Democratic sponsor of the original National Pediatric Research Network Act; and Congressman Pallone, the Democratic sponsor of the original Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act. All of them and all of us--on both sides of the aisle--have much to be proud of in supporting S. 1440, as amended.

I urge my colleagues to vote for S. 1440, as amended.

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