This week, Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) provided opening remarks at a Health Subcommittee legislative hearing titled, “Caring for America: Legislation to Support Patients, Caregivers, and Providers.” He highlighted that a legislative hearing was held to examine bills that would improve the health of children and families. The Subcommittee then met to discuss bipartisan legislation intended to promote and provide public health services and support to front line public health workers of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two of the bills discussed that are of particular importance to the counseling profession were the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act” (H.R. 1667) and the “Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Act” (H.R. 3297), both of which seek to address the mental health burden endured by frontline workers through funding for mental and behavioral health care workers and to provide services to health care providers and underserved communities.
- The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R. 1667): This bill would authorize grants for mental and behavioral health training for health care workers, as well as grants for programs and campaigns to improve health care providers’ mental health.
- The Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Act (H.R. 3297): bill would establish a student loan repayment program for public health professionals that complete a period of full-time employment with a State, Tribal, or local public health agency for at least three years.
We encourage all ACA members and counseling advocates to visit the two action pages above to learn more about these bipartisan bills and to contact their representatives to ask for their support for these two important pieces of legislation. You can also share your own personal perspective and stories on our Take Action page.
For more information and questions, please contact the Government Affairs Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.