Summary: H.R.865 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.865. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (02/13/2003)

Smallpox Vaccine Compensation and Safety Act of 2003 - Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue grants to State and local governments for various uses related to covered countermeasures against smallpox (countermeasures), including to provide for their administration. Requires States receiving grants to: (1) establish education programs regarding countermeasures; and (2) offer screening and testing for conditions that increase health risks from countermeasures.

Declares that it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an individual because of a refusal to receive a countermeasure or because of an adverse reaction to a countermeasure.

Directs the Secretary to supply vaccinia immune globulin to anyone receiving vaccinia vaccine if such vaccine is declared a countermeasure.

Requires the Secretary to pay States the costs incurred for medical assistance to health care workers and first responders who suffer adverse reactions from a countermeasure, provided such individuals have not received other specified compensation.

States that this section constitutes budget authority in advance of appropriations Acts.

Amends the Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to require continued coverage of benefits for countermeasure side effects by group health plans maintained by States and subunits of States at the level of such coverage as of September 10, 2001.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to establish a National Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, under which compensation may be paid for injury or death related to countermeasures on or after November 25, 2002.