CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 525, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The bill was introduced on February 8, 2011, by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Committee held a markup of H.R. 525 on February 15, 2011, and ordered the bill to be reported by voice vote.
H.R. 525 would amend the Public Health Service Act to include veterinary public health professions as eligible for certain public health workforce provisions, including public health workforce loan repayment programs and public health workforce grants. The bill would effectively expand the public health workforce loan repayment program in order to make veterinarians eligible for the program. Note: Such public health workforce loan repayment grants have also been made available under Obamacare; thus, this legislation would expand the eligibility of those programs to veterinarians as well. The bill would not increase funding for the loan repayment plans, but would expand eligibility.
The bill would define "veterinary public health" to include veterinarians engaged in one or more of the following areas (having an impact on human health): biodefense and emergency preparedness; emerging and reemerging infection diseases; environmental health; ecosystem health pre- and post-harvest food protection; regulatory medicine; diagnostic laboratory medicine; veterinary pathology; biomedical research; the practice of food animal medicine in rural areas; and government practice.
According to CBO, H.R. 525 would have a negligible impact on federal spending over the next five years; any additional spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.