Bilirakis Bill Covering Congenital Heart Disease Becomes Law
The bill mandates increased research and data collection about congenital heart disease and its sufferers.
WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump has signed into law the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs.
This marks the 26th bill authored by Bilirakis to become law since 2015. This legislation addresses the need to invest in continued research to help the millions of Americans living with congenital heart disease.
CHD is a public health issue that does not discriminate by race, gender, or socio-economic status, Bilirakis said. It is estimated that there are currently between 2 million to 3 million adults and children living in the United States with CHD, and nearly 1 in every 100 babies are born with a CHD. Five percent of these babies will not live to see their first birthdays.
Because of recent advancements in technology, CHD patients are surviving longer. This legislation seeks to build upon that success by ensuring continued investment in surveillance research to help the lifelong needs of individuals with CHD. These surveillance efforts will help improve understanding of CHD from birth to adulthood.
In addition, the legislation emphasizes the need for continued biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of CHD.
The NIH will research the causes of congenital heart defects, including genetic causes, and study long-term outcomes in individuals with CHD of all ages. NIH will study data to identify effective treatments and outcomes, and identify barriers to lifelong care for individuals with congenital heart defects.
It will also expand the infrastructure to track the epidemiology of congenital heart defects. Research is key to understanding the causes of CHD, preventing it and improving treatment, Bilirakis said.
“Better data leads to better research,” Bilirakis said. “This bi-partisan initiative is about giving hope to families who have suffered and improving the quality of life for millions of Americans by investing in life-saving research. Doing the right thing on behalf of sick kids is a moral imperative, and I am glad we were finally able to get it over the finish line.”
Bilirakis represents Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes all of Pasco and northern parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
For information about Bilirakis, go to bilirakis.house.gov.
Gus Bilirakis | Politics | Health Care | Tampabay News
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