Summary: S.196 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.196. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (01/24/2017)

Public Health Emergency Response and Accountability Act

This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services, upon determination of a public health emergency, to provide for the convening of a group of federal officials to prepare monthly reports concerning such matters as funding, collaboration, and best practices.

The bill makes appropriations to the Public Health Emergency Fund upon determination of an emergency. Funding is subject to a calculation that compares amounts available in the fund to average public health emergency relief expenditures over preceding fiscal years.

The bill amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to exempt the fund from sequestration, a process of automatic, usually across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently cancelled to enforce specific budget policy goals.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) must report on:

  • the capacity of the public health system to respond effectively to infectious disease outbreaks,
  • the coordination between federal, state, and local government entities when responding to infectious disease outbreaks,
  • the most effective ways to provide or allocate resources for public health emergency response, and
  • an audit of how funds for public health emergencies have been expended within the last two years.

GAO must also issue a post-emergency report on response efforts by government entities.