A bipartisan committee of health experts significantly expanded the role of the federal government on Tuesday, setting minimum health standards in Washington, and about 3,000 state, local, and tribal institutions.
The recommendations come from what the panel, the Federal Funds Commission on the National Public Health System, described as inadequate and unequal US response to the coronavirus pandemic. Killed more than a million Americans..
But in a report released Tuesday, the panel also wants to address the failure of the U.S. public health agency to protect Americans from other health risks such as drug overdose, diabetes, and maternal death. Stated.
A bipartisan committee funded by the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit research group focused on health care issues, is controversial in recommending the creation of a new “national public health system.” We are stepping into political waters.
While other countries have centralized public health authorities, public health in the United States is primarily controlled at the state and local levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal public health agency, does not have the authority to force state action. For example, it is not possible to investigate an outbreak of an infectious disease in a particular state without an invitation from state authorities. So.
Although state health agencies and the CDC have a long history of working together, elected state officials, especially red state officials, were reluctant to give up control during the pandemic. For example, when the CDC asks the state to sign an agreement to share vaccination data with the federal government. Many states barked..
In that report, the Panel cited “an archaic approach to aggregating data” as one of the reasons why so many Americans died. He called on Congress to empower the Department of Health and Human Services to establish and implement standards for data collection.
Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, a member of the panel who was the CDC director under President George W. Bush’s administration, told us that the pandemic “needs a functioning, coordinated and integrated public health network.” He told me that the only way to put it together is to take a national approach. “
The panel’s report comes when Congress is considering legislation that takes different approaches to strengthening the country’s public health infrastructure.Senate Health Committee Passed bipartisan measures To do so, the CDC director needs to be confirmed by the Senate and requires additional steps to improve coordination between national public health agencies.
The Commission’s recommendations are broader. The panel, led by Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, will serve as Commissioner of Food and Drugs under President Barack Obama, calling for the creation of a new position within the Department of Health and Human Services (under the Commissioner of Public Health). Oversees the national public health system.
The Under Secretary has the authority to coordinate the work of more than 12 federal agencies that play a role in public health and to set minimum health standards for the state.
“Our public health system is a federal system in which states and provinces have considerable autonomy, and it is appropriate to adapt to the needs of states and communities,” Dr. Hamburg said in an interview. I did. “But the public health protection that an individual receives should not be completely dependent on where you live. There should be a core set of expectations.”