We must, therefore, change the way hepatitis is diagnosed and treated. With the help of Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), I introduced the Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act, H.R. 3974, which provides almost $600 million over the next five years to treat hepatitis. Our legislation focuses federal efforts on a strategy that saves lives and makes our health system more efficient. We bring together the common concerns of the diverse viral hepatitis community to fight chronic viral hepatitis by establishing, promoting and supporting a comprehensive prevention, research and medical management referral program. And we strengthen the ability of the CDC to support state health departments in the prevention, immunization and surveillance efforts.Through this legislation, and with strategic investments in public health and prevention programs, billions of dollars can be saved, and so can the lives of tens of thousands of people in states and cities all over America. I urge all of you to join me in supporting activities that promote early detection and education. With your help, we can sound the alarm on this silent crisis.Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.