The Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act Approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Posted Wednesday, Jul 25, 2018

Earlier today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a markup on the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act (CHFRA). The bill was unanimously approved by the Committee and moved a step closer to consideration by the full Senate.

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) has been working with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) since the bill’s introduction to support its passage. As the bill moved closer to HELP Committee markup, ACHA worked to ensure the bill would be considered favorably. Both Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) expressed their support for the bill in their opening statements.

Chairman Alexander’s opening remarks highlighted the education and awareness campaign that ACHA advocated to be included in the legislation and the importance of ensuring individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD) receive specialized medical care. The most exciting part was that he quoted an email from Paula Miller, ACHA’s Senior Education Manager, about the importance of passing CHFRA. He read the following excerpt from her message:

My future is uncertain as there are many unanswered questions about my care. I’m writing to express my strong support for discussions in the Senate to advance congenital heart disease legislation that would improve data tracking and enhance our understanding of CHD as patients age. It is so important…that we can better understand CHDs across the lifespan.

While we do not yet know when the Senate will consider this bill, this markup was an important step towards enactment. We will continue to keep you updated as CHFRA and call on you to contact your Senators as this legislation continues to advance through the process.