Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


House Committee Receives Testimony on Ebola Crisis

Last Thursday the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing titled “Combating the Ebola Threat” in which the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testified that the current Ebola outbreak is likely to sicken more people than all previous outbreaks combined. He stressed the need for a more rigorous response by emphasizing steps known to have stopped the spread of the virus in the past. Subsequently, the CDC elevated its Ebola response to the highest level and recommended against traveling to West Africa. The President indicated that he will authorize that aid be sent to help affected countries bolster their public health infrastructure. The Administration is also considering the use of experimental drugs to help contain the outbreak, although it was said that it would be at least several months before such drugs could be made available in any quantity. The CDC Director also said that “we don’t know whether that treatment is helpful, harmful or doesn’t have any impact….” In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread. What response this declaration will result in remains unclear, although during the President’s “Africa Summit” held in Washington, D.C. the State Department and the CDC met with the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, and senior officials from Liberia and Sierra Leone to help identify national and regional priorities and the types of assistance needed to mount an effective response.

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