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Several Health-Related Bills Approved by House Committee

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 24 approved several health-related measures, in addition to considering portions of the welfare reauthorization bill under the committee’s jurisdiction (see related story). With no debate, the committee approved the health-related resolutions en bloc by unanimous consent.

H. Con. Res. 165 expresses the sense of the Congress with respect to uterine fibroids. Recognizing “the health and educational needs of women in the United States who may be suffering from fibroids,” the resolution calls upon the “medical community to explore alternatives to hysterectomies.”

The other resolution (H. Con. Res. 309) recognizes the importance of cervical health and of detecting cervical cancer in its earliest stages. The resolution also urges health care professionals and facilities to raise public awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of early detection. H. Con. Res. 165 and H. Con. Res. 309 are sponsored by Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald.

A third resolution (as-yet-unnumbered) calls for the establishment of a National Minority Health Month. During opening statements, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) said that the resolution was needed because the health care needs of minorities “are still unmet.” He noted that “infant mortality rates among African Americans are more than double that of whites,” and that “African-American women have a higher death rate from breast cancer, despite having mammography screening rates that are higher than whites.”

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