WASHINGTON, DC— A bipartisan group of Senate and House health committee leaders today sent colleagues a letter to highlight the importance of immunizations, saying: “Vaccines save lives.”
“The introduction of vaccines was a turning point in our country’s public health history. Vaccines led to the elimination of certain diseases, including polio and measles, from the United States,” write Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Gene Green (D-Texas).
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before introduction of the polio vaccine in the United States, polio caused more than 16,000 cases of paralysis and nearly 2,000 deaths each year, on average. Similarly, before the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1963, almost all children got measles by the age of 15, with up to 4 million Americans infected each year, according to the CDC. Measles is a highly contagious, airborne virus that can cause serious respiratory illness and life-threatening complications in children, such as pneumonia, ear infections, and even lifelong brain damage or deafness. In 2000, as a result of a vaccine, the CDC declared measles to be eliminated in the United States,” they wrote in the letter to each of their Senate and House colleagues.
The letter concludes: “Vaccines are our first line of defense against infectious diseases, many of which have no treatment or can be life-threatening. As medical research continues to advance, and scientists discover new medical breakthroughs and cutting-edge ways to treat disease and save lives, it is critical to recognize the importance of protecting public health against vaccine-preventable diseases. The science is clear: FDA-licensed vaccines are proven to be safe and effective, and save the lives both of those who receive them and vulnerable individuals around them. As Members of Congress, we have a critical role to play in supporting the availability and use of vaccines to protect Americans from deadly diseases.”
Read the full letter here.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) today issued the following statement after the Trump administration took action to deliver relief from Obamacare’s damage.
“Patients and families understand best the need for urgent action to repeal Obamacare. Today’s action represents a clear signal from the Trump administration that patient voices have finally been heard, and that health care markets will get immediate relief. This rule helps move our country beyond the damage of Obamacare to patient-focused solutions to rebuild our health care system and provide fairness for everyone. Many of the actions in this rule directly align with proposed actions before our own committee. From requiring documentation for special enrollment periods and closing a loophole, these changes help protect taxpayers and stabilize markets. Working together, we will continue to get results for people across the country.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Gene Green (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) reintroduced the MISSION Zero Act (H.R. 880), to assist the Department of Defense (DoD) in assigning trauma surgeons to civilian trauma centers filling a gap in care recently examined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Currently, trauma care in the United States is a patchwork of regional systems and incomplete data registries. Mortality and disability in traumatic injury can be greatly reduced through integrated, permanent joint civilian and military trauma system training platforms, in order to create and sustain an expert trauma workforce between periods of active combat.
The MISSION Zero Act would also establish grant programs for eligible trauma systems and centers to incorporate full military trauma teams or individual military trauma providers into their hospitals. This mutually beneficial partnership would allow civilians the chance to learn more about military best practices and would give military trauma care providers the opportunity to utilize their cutting-edge expertise without leaving the military.
“Our military has made incredible strides in delivering trauma care, saving countless lives that would have otherwise been lost,” said Rep. Burgess. “This expertise should be brought home to strengthen our civilian trauma centers and systems, so that efforts to save American lives are not dependent on where one is injured and what care is readily available. The MISSION Zero Act would establish a grant program to foster a partnership between our military and civilian trauma providers to benefit all Americans. I am proud to be part of this important legislation to strengthen our nation’s trauma care and save more lives on and off the battlefield.”
“This grant program will support the development of a national trauma care system that allows for the continuous and seamless exchange of knowledge across the military and civilian health care sectors,” said Rep. Green. “This would better provide optimal delivery of trauma care to save the lives of Americans injured within the United States or on the battlefield. As we grapple with how to best support our men and women in uniform and respond to tragedies at home, we must make certain that our trauma systems and centers are best prepared to save lives.”
“As a Representative of North Carolina – home of the epicenter of the universe, Fort Bragg – I understand how critical it is for our military trauma teams to maintain their unique medical skills off the battlefield,” said Rep. Hudson. “That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan bill that will place military trauma teams into high acuity civilian trauma centers, empowering them to hone their expertise and enhancing our civilian trauma centers across the country.”
“We need to build on the unique partnership between Tampa General Hospital and military medical professionals from MacDill Air Force Base. MacDill is home to the 6th Air Medical Group that serves the Sixth Air Mobility Wing, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. In 2011, the MacDill Air Medical Group and Tampa General Hospital launched a ‘full team’ training initiative with nurses, surgeons and specialists. The initiative allows military and civilian medical teams to hone their skills in intense trauma environments and thereby keep them sharp to care for our warfighters. These partnerships are going to be vital for continued training for our community and our military. It should be replicated in other trauma centers across the United States,” said Rep. Castor.
The MISSION ZERO Act is endorsed by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Surgeons, and the Trauma Care Association of America.
“We are pleased to support the MISSION ZERO Act and applaud Reps. Burgess, Green, Hudson and Castor for reintroducing this important legislation,” said Jennifer Ward, President of Trauma Center Association of America. “Allowing trauma centers around the country to partner with military surgeons will not only help our servicemen and women maintain military readiness, but will also strengthen our trauma care systems and ensure that top-notch trauma care is available to every person who needs it.”
Washington, D.C. — Today Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, received the “Heroes of Main Street” award from the Texas Retailers Association and National Retail Federation (NRF). This award, created by the NRF in 2013, recognizes Members of Congress who have supported the retail industry, addressed important issues faced by retailers and worked to bolster our nation’s economy by supporting the retail sector.
George Kelemen, President of Texas Retailers Association presents Dr. Burgess with the National Retail Federation’s “Hero of Main Street” award.
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement after President Trump announced his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Once again President Trump has upheld his promise to the American people to nominate an exceptionally qualified, conservative originalist to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch exhibits a reverence and understanding of the deliberate intent of each branch of our government. While the legacy of the late Justice Scalia will remain untouched, Judge Gorsuch will undoubtedly carry on the conservative principles and originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that radiated in all of Justice Scalia’s opinions.
“In his previous confirmation to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Gorsuch received unanimous support from the Senate. It is my hope that once again our colleagues in the Senate move quickly to confirm this outstanding nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court bench.”
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement after President Trump issued executive action on refugees.
“My top priority has always been to protect Americans at home and to do so by securing our borders. As he has made clear, President Trump is taking the steps well within his authority, and based off intelligence gathered in the Obama Administration, to keep our country safe. Congress should remain involved in the process and provide legislation to strengthen not only border security but vetting those who wish to enter the country through any means.”
2336 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
After spending nearly three decades practicing medicine in North Texas I have served the constituents of the 26th District since 2003 in the United States House of Representatives.
I currently serve on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the 113th Congress, 2013 and 2014, will serve as the Vice Chairman of both the Subcommittee on Health and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and as a member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee. In addition, I am a member of the Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission. In 2009, I founded, and currently serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Health Caucus.
Because of my medical background, I have been a strong advocate for health care legislation aimed at reducing health care costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first, and ensuring there are enough doctors in the public and private sector to care for America’s patients and veterans. I have played an important role in bipartisan efforts to ensure the safety of food, drugs, and consumer products, and have introduced legislation to strengthen our ability to stop dangerous products from coming into the country.
As a Member of Congress representing one of the fastest growing areas of the country, transportation is also a top priority. In 2005, I successfully amended the Highway Bill to include development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. During my time on Capitol Hill, I have worked to build, maintain, and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, air service, and transit in the North Texas region.
A fiscal conservative, I believe Americans deserve a federal government that is more efficient, effective, less costly, and always transparent. I follow a strict adherence to the Constitution, and oppose unnecessary expansion of the federal government’s control over Americans’ personal freedoms. Instead, I believe in giving people more control over their lives and their money.
During my time on Capitol Hill, I have earned a reputation as a problem-solver who seeks sensible solutions to the challenges Americans face and have received several awards including: the Guardian of Small Business award by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); the Spirit of Enterprise award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and the Taxpayer Hero award from the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; among others.
Today, I represent the majority of Denton County, and parts of Dallas County and Tarrant County. I was raised in Denton, and attended The Selwyn School, graduating in 1968 as valedictorian. In addition, I graduated with both an undergraduate and a master’s degree from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas.
I received my M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and completed my residency programs at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. I also received a master’s degree in Medical Management from the University of Texas at Dallas, and in May of 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center.
My wife, Laura, and I have been married for 39 years. We have three children and two grandsons.
Sending my sincere condolences to the loved ones of Alan Colmes, a well-respected political voice and a genuine, good man.