CHA News Article

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Reviews Ebola Funding Request

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing yesterday to review the emergency appropriations funding request to support Ebola preparedness and response. Top public health officials testified that the president’s $6.2 billion funding request is critical to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and ensure domestic preparedness to address Ebola and other threats. The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, reiterated the importance of the funding request to support hospital infection control capabilities. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell highlighted the preparedness training that is occurring in hospitals and health systems across the country, and emphasized the need to ensure the intensity of the training continues and is measured. Secretary Burwell also cited efforts to address the supply of personal protective equipment and to direct resources according to risk and need.

U.S. senators noted the significant costs associated with treating a patient with Ebola and questioned whether funding should be provided to compensate treating facilities. Senators also posed questions about the allocation of funding to support Ebola treatment centers. Secretary Burwell highlighted that the federal government is pursuing a strategic approach to build the capacity for treating Ebola patients according to risk and geographic considerations.

More information on the hearing, including written testimony and a video recording, is available on the Appropriation Committee’s website.