The American College of Surgeons, along with a coalition of trauma advocates, succeeded in ensuring that two important trauma bills have been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 647, the Access to Life Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act, at http://goo.gl/w7Naq9 were reintroduced by Reps. Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX). H.R. 647 reauthorizes language from the Public Health Service Act to fund trauma centers—funding that is set to expire this fiscal year. Meanwhile, H.R. 648 reauthorizes Trauma Care Systems Planning Grants, which support state and rural development of trauma systems, as well as pilot projects for implementing and assessing regionalized emergency care models.
The House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee convened a hearing on several public health bills in January and followed up with a mark-up in early February that included the trauma bills. Both bills were passed out of committee by voice vote. The full committee has scheduled a mark-up of the same public health bills, including the trauma bills, which are again expected to be passed out of the full committee by voice vote. The House is then expected to bring pieces of trauma legislation to the House floor sometime soon after. Discussions are still ongoing with the Senate at this time; however, former champions of the legislation—Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jack Reed (D-RI)—have expressed interest in being the lead sponsors of the legislation on the Senate side.