We applaud the House of Representatives for passage of the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act (CHFRA), H.R. 1222.
Congenital heart defects are the most prevalent category of birth defects, affecting nearly 1 in 100 babies; more than five percent will not live to see their first birthday, and those who receive successful intervention are not cured. Children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) require ongoing, costly, specialized cardiac care, and face a lifelong risk of permanent disability and premature death.
This legislation will ensure that critical CHD activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will continue. First authorized in 2010, these efforts have improved our understanding of CHD across the lifespan, the age-specific prevalence of CHD, and factors impacting when people with CHD do not receive appropriate specialty care. House passage of CHFRA is the first step to allowing the CDC and NIH to build upon their existing programs to address an important public health issue and improve the quality of life and care for individuals with CHD.
“We applaud the House of Representatives on passage of the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act, which will improve the lives of all people with CHDs in our country. The entire CHD community also extends a special thanks to Representatives Gus Bilirakis and Adam Schiff for their leadership in introducing CHFRA and their tireless work for it to be considered in the House,” said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. “Now, we will turn our attention to the Senate, in hopes that it, too, will act and CHFRA will become law this year.”
For a video of Rep. Bilirakis’ speech on the House floor, click here.
More than 180 advocates—representing ACHA, the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, and The Children’s Heart Foundation—from 32 different states will be on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. this week, thanking House of Representatives members who have continued to support individuals CHD and ensuring U.S. Senators are informed and educated on this critical bipartisan issue.