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Congress Should Fully Fund National Health Security Programs

The Hill: Time to invest in our nation’s health security
Paul Chaplin, president and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, and Elizabeth G. Posillico, president and CEO of Elusys Therapeutics, both co-chairs of the Alliance for Biosecurity

“…An important recent report — the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense — highlights the need to invest in preparedness as a matter of national security. … The panel highlights significant underfunding of the government’s Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund (SRF) and pandemic influenza program. These are the primary programs used by the Department of Health and Human Services to procure and stockpile medical countermeasures, including medicines and vaccines. … The reality is these programs are critical components of our national security. If we fail to act now, we risk unnecessary illness and deaths here at home. … Congress needs to take concrete actions and fully fund investments in biosecurity preparedness in order to avert another crisis [like Ebola]. The omnibus appropriations package that is being crafted to fund the government for the next year is the best opportunity to address this historical underfunding of critical programs. In the context of a $1.1 trillion budget, fully funding these national security programs is the wisest investment our leaders can make” (12/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.