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house Bill H.R. 1797

Expanding Federal Programs that Address Neglected Tropical Diseases

Argument in favor

Rare tropical diseases can cause deadly outbreaks that spread quickly around the world. Federal health agencies need to expand programs that research these diseases to save lives.

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02/03/2016
As we're a global economy and society, it's time the US stopped pretending we're an island and became part of a more global coalition to combat rare (often fatal) tropical diseases, which can spread rapidly and inflict so much suffering on those most in need.
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Scott 's Opinion
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02/03/2016
As a world leader we need to lead morally, including spending on diseases from other parts of the world. Also diseases in one part of the world don't stay there.
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TMGDW's Opinion
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02/05/2016
Tropical diseases like this disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable of our world. In a country that is so divided, subjects like Global Health can be something for all of us to rally against. It's time to come to grips that we are a part of the world, that the United States does not need to be as isolated or selfish as some seem to believe.
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Argument opposed

The unfortunate reality is that health care resources are scarce, and rare tropical diseases rarely have a significant impact on the U.S. This country can't always shoulder the burden of the world's problems.

James's Opinion
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02/03/2016
There are existing Federal and State entities plus private organizations motivated by profit that can direct their resources to these concerns without additional Government funding. Could it be that Government officials are contemplating possible election contributions as fall out from the private sector?
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Jake's Opinion
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02/04/2016
The WHO was founded in part to address this. We have systems and agencies in place already that address more pressing public health issues - like Zika has now become, but impulsively passing bills to every problem retroactively is why we're in so much debt.
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operaman's Opinion
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02/03/2016
We have the CDC. And the military also has their labs. Hint: live anthrax sent to other centers. We don't need more massive spending. I would recommend a good kick in the rear to these departments with a strong overseers. Throwing tax payers money at this will not solve the problem. Remember that almost all new developments are done by private corporations subsidized by the taxpayer.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedApril 15th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 1797?

This bill would expand programs to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) through:

  • the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 
  • the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 
  • and the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). 
NTDs are defined in this bill as infections caused by pathogens (like viruses, microbes, and parasitic worms) that disproportionately impact people living in extreme poverty — especially in developing countries.

An existing NTDs Program within USAID would be expanded, a research and development program would be created, and possibly address additional NTDs.

The President would be required to direct U.S. representatives to the United Nations and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to urge actions on NTDs, including deworming programs.

Under this legislation HHS must continue to promote the need for NTDs programs and activities through interagency groups and international forums. The CDC would report to Congress about NTDs in the U.S.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or the Health Resources and Services Administration would be required to support one or more centers of excellence for NTD research, training, and treatment. The National Institutes of Health would create a panel to evaluate issues relating to worm infections, including potential solutions such as deworming medicines.

Impact

People in areas impacted by or at risk for NTDs, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the NIH, HHS, and USAID.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1797

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes 17 NTDs, including leprosy and dengue fever, and it has committed to an agency-wide plan to eradicate at least two NTDs by 2020.

Before the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa that began in December 2013 was declared over, another outbreak of a rare tropical disease was beginning in the Western Hemisphere. The Zika virus outbreak began in April 2015 has infected an estimated 1.5 million people during its spread through South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. According to the WHO there is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus.


In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced this bill to improve the ability of the U.S. and the world health community to respond to outbreaks of rare diseases that can be severely debilitating or fatal:

“More than 10,000 people have died of Ebola worldwide thus far. Although only one person died in this country due to that disease, we saw clearly how unprepared our medical services and the rest of the world were initially to deal with a rare disease that had previously been confined to isolated areas in Central Africa. There are other rare diseases — not to mention the recognized NTDs — that can cause havoc if they find their way to populated international transit areas as Ebola did last year. Far too many people live lives of quiet suffering from diseases we must fight more effectively.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed this legislation by unanimous consent. Currently this bill has the support of 10 cosponsors in the House, including six Democrats and four Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Oregon State University)

AKA

End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act

Official Title

To facilitate effective research on and treatment of neglected tropical diseases, including Ebola, through coordinated domestic and international efforts.

    As we're a global economy and society, it's time the US stopped pretending we're an island and became part of a more global coalition to combat rare (often fatal) tropical diseases, which can spread rapidly and inflict so much suffering on those most in need.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    There are existing Federal and State entities plus private organizations motivated by profit that can direct their resources to these concerns without additional Government funding. Could it be that Government officials are contemplating possible election contributions as fall out from the private sector?
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    As a world leader we need to lead morally, including spending on diseases from other parts of the world. Also diseases in one part of the world don't stay there.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Maybe we can shift some of the money spent on oil subsidies to this effort.
    Like (3)
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    Share
    Climate change is causing the environments where these diseases congregate to spread further, and put more populations at risk. In order to prevent widespread disease in the US it's important to start looking into these tropical diseases and their patterns now, allowing us time to develop treatments.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    The WHO was founded in part to address this. We have systems and agencies in place already that address more pressing public health issues - like Zika has now become, but impulsively passing bills to every problem retroactively is why we're in so much debt.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Tropical diseases like this disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable of our world. In a country that is so divided, subjects like Global Health can be something for all of us to rally against. It's time to come to grips that we are a part of the world, that the United States does not need to be as isolated or selfish as some seem to believe.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Globalization has connected I us in ways we can barely comprehend. A new disease in China could make its way to the US in one simple cargo shipment or plane ride.
    Like (3)
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    Share
    We have the CDC. And the military also has their labs. Hint: live anthrax sent to other centers. We don't need more massive spending. I would recommend a good kick in the rear to these departments with a strong overseers. Throwing tax payers money at this will not solve the problem. Remember that almost all new developments are done by private corporations subsidized by the taxpayer.
    Like (3)
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    Share
    Too much money
    Like (2)
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    The United States has an extensive healthcare research system & deep financial resources, unless we are going to seal the US off completely by not letting anyone in or out, we will be threatened by the spread of diseases that are not native to North America. It's time we begin to address them. Just because ebola & Zika didn't originate in Iowa doesn't mean people in Iowa aren't in danger of dying because of them. We live in an interconnected world, if we don't cope with the consequences of what that means, we will have bigger problems than we ever imagined! And many needlessly dead citizens! Do this!!
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    Since funds are scarce and our deficit is out of control, we don't need to spend more money on this program
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    While I understand the fear of rare diseases, we as country need to stop hemorrhaging money until we reduce our ever so high debt.
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    That is the responsibility of the private sector, but out.
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    Wether we have the resources or not, it is imperative to reach out and make good with what we have.
    Like (1)
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    Today's "rare" tropical disease will become tomorrow's "common" disease. Just look at West Nile Virus and the damage it has caused in the US. We still do not have a vaccine for it. The Zika virus is now heading our way. The benefits from research into this would benefit all of us and may help in developing new treatments for more common diseases as well.
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    No! The U S needs to work our country's issues and stop sticking their noses that don't pertain to the taxpayers. Our country has its own issues and they need dire attention. CoNess needs to focus on our issues especially veterans
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    I rather prefer to be recognized as a leader in managing and addressing global health care challenges, such as SARS, influence, and Zika, than military interventions. Considering the overall cost / benefit ratio, I am pretty sure that those investments will be not only from a human capital but also from a simple cash standpoint the better investment.
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    Before imaginary lines dividing us, we are all humans. It is our natural instinct to help each other out.
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    Because of Zika.
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