Today, there was final passage of the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act in the House of Representatives! ACHA’s sincere thanks go to Representatives Bilirakis and Schiff, Senators Durbin and Young and their staffs, for their tireless work that enabled passage of the bill. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
CHFRA has been ACHA’s highest legislative priority, since it will enhance research, surveillance, and awareness activities for the congenital heart disease (CHD) community across the lifespan. The legislation reauthorizes critical surveillance activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and authorizes the agency to implement a new education and awareness campaign aimed at people with CHD and their families - all at a significantly higher authorization level of $10 million per year, more than double the current $4 million. The reauthorization runs through FY 2024. The law will also require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to issue a report to Congress on its CHD-related research, allowing us to identify gaps and opportunities.
ACHA will keep the CHD community updated as the bill becomes law and as our advocacy shifts to ensuring that the law is implemented correctly and increased funds for these programs are appropriated annually. ACHA finally wants to thank all of the CHD activists who have advocated with their Members of Congress in support of CHFRA over the last few years. The bill would not have passed Congress without your efforts!