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U.S. Lawmakers Should Prioritize Zika Response, Funding

The Hill: Clock is ticking on Zika funding
Katy Caldwell, CEO of Legacy Community Health

“…While public health officials and providers have a sense of urgency [around the Zika virus], the federal government is dragging its feet. The head of the House Appropriations Committee recently rejected the Obama administration’s $1.8 billion emergency funding request to help find a vaccine and care for low-income pregnant women, pointing to existing funds for Ebola that could be used. … And last week the Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on Zika with top health authorities where some lawmakers came across as skeptical or dismissive of the funding need. Needless to say, action on Zika has stalled. … Congressional and administration leaders need to lock themselves in a room and not come out until a deal is reached. According to a February poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the American people are watching. … Texas and other southern states need all the help we can get limiting or preventing damage to moms and their babies. Like any health care provider, our number one priority is the health and well-being of the people we serve. We hope this is the priority of lawmakers, too, even in an election year” (3/14).

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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.