Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 8, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 1193) to amend title IV of the Public Health Service Act to direct the Director of the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, shall establish a program under which the Director of the National Institutes of Health shall support or conduct research on valvular heart disease, and for other purposes, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 1193

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Cardiovascular Advances in Research and Opportunities Legacy Act''. SEC. 2. GRANTS FOR VALVULAR HEART DISEASE RESEARCH.

Subpart 2 of part C of title IV of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 285b et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 424C (42 U.S.C. 285b-7c) the following: ``SEC. 424D. GRANTS FOR VALVULAR HEART DISEASE RESEARCH.

``(a) In General.--The Director of the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with the Director of the Institute, shall support or conduct research regarding valvular heart disease.

``(b) Support Guidelines.--The distribution of funding authorized under subsection (a) may be used to pursue the following outcomes:

``(1) Using precision medicine and advanced technological imaging to generate data on individuals with valvular heart disease.

``(2) Identifying and developing a cohort of individuals with valvular heart disease and available data.

``(3) Corroborating data generated through clinical trials to develop a prediction model to distinguish individuals at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death from valvular heart disease.

``(4) For other outcomes needed to acquire necessary data on valvular heart disease.

``(c) Mitral Valve Prolapse Workshop.--Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Director of the Institute shall convene a workshop composed of subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify research needs and opportunities to develop prescriptive guidelines for treatment of individuals with mitral valve prolapse.

``(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--For the purpose of carrying out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.''. SEC. 3. PROGRAMS OF CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION.

Part B of title III of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 243 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 312 the following section: ``SEC. 312A. PREVENTION OF SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH AS A RESULT OF VALVULAR HEART DISEASE.

``(a) In General.--The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, may carry out projects to increase education, awareness, or diagnosis of valvular heart disease and to reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death caused by valvular heart disease. Such projects may be carried out by the Secretary directly or through awards of grants or contracts to public or nonprofit private entities. The Secretary may directly (or through such awards) provide technical assistance with respect to the planning, development, and operation of such projects.

``(b) Certain Activities.--Upon availability of applicable data, projects carried out under subsection (a) may include--

``(1) continuing the activities at the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, including those related to valvular heart disease;

``(2) broadening the awareness of the public concerning the risk factors for, the symptoms of, and the public health consequences of valvular heart disease; and

``(3) enhancing surveillance of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests to improve patient outcomes.

``(c) Grant Prioritization.--The Secretary may, in awarding grants or entering into contracts pursuant to subsection (a), give priority to entities seeking to carry out projects that target populations most impacted by valvular heart disease.

``(d) Coordination of Activities.--The Secretary shall ensure that activities under this section are coordinated, as appropriate, with other agencies of the Public Health Service that carry out activities regarding valvular heart disease.

``(e) Best Practices.--The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall--

``(1) collect and analyze the findings of research conducted with respect to valvular heart disease; and

``(2) taking into account such findings, publish on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention best practices for physicians and other health care providers who provide care to individuals with valvular heart disease.''.

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Mr. PALLONE. 1193.

Mr. Speaker, valvular heart disease is a rising health threat to many otherwise healthy people. Each year, more than 25,000 Americans lose their lives to valvular heart disease, and they are predominantly young women. Unfortunately, the disease's reach is only increasing with more than 5 million diagnoses each year.

Despite this rising incidence, there is so much that we do not know about valvular heart disease. Specifically, we do not have a good understanding about what makes the disease life-threatening.

Today, we are taking an important step to address this gap by considering H.R. 1193, the CAROL Act. I commend Representative Barr for introducing this legacy bill in honor of his late wife, Carol, who died unexpectedly in June of 2020 from an underlying valvular heart disease condition. This bill will help other families avoid the same tragedy his family has faced.

The CAROL Act will expand research on valvular heart disease and its treatment by authorizing a grant program administered by the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It will also require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out projects to increase education, awareness, and diagnosis of valvular heart disease and to reduce cardiac deaths caused by valvular heart disease.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

Miss RICE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the CAROL Act, which I am proud to co-lead with my friend, Representative Andy Barr, which will fund critical breakthroughs in our understanding of valvular heart disease.

Millions of Americans live with some form of valvular heart disease, and most of them go their entire lives without a serious issue or incident. But over 25,000 people die in this country from this condition every single year.

Last year, Andy's wife, Carol, tragically passed away from a heart valve condition called mitral valve prolapse.

The CAROL Act will honor Carol's life by creating a new grant program administered by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to fund valvular heart disease research.

Our hope is that this research will improve our knowledge of this poorly understood condition and one day produce a cure that will prevent other families from having to endure the same tragedy that befell the Barr family. I cannot think of a more beautiful tribute to Carol's life than that.

Andy, I commend you and your family for your incredible strength and for turning your grief into action. It was my honor to join you on this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Pallone, Chairwoman Eshoo, Ranking Member Rodgers, and Ranking Member Guthrie for bringing this critical bill to the floor. I urge all members to support it today.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Panetta).

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time, as we hear from the Republican Members.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from Washington (Mrs. Rodgers).

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, let me just say again what a tribute that

Andy Barr has made to his wife.

Madam Speaker, this is such an important bill in terms of trying to deal with this disease. Again, I urge bipartisan support, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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