Hill sponsors bipartisan bill to ramp up medical supply chain

U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR) on May 12 proposed the bipartisan Securing America’s Vaccines for Emergencies (SAVE) Act of 2021 to help ensure the United States is prepared to respond to future health crises.

“The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that we must take action to reduce our dependency on other countries for supplies critical to protecting families in Arkansas and across the nation during a crisis,” Rep. Hill said. 

If enacted, H.R. 3146 would amend the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950 to ensure medical supplies and materials, including those essential to national defense, are readily available when needed, according to the office of Rep. Hill, who sponsored the bill with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA).

“My bill will help improve our medical supply chains and work to ensure that we as a nation are prepared and ready to address any crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic head on,” Rep. Hill said.

H.R. 3146, if approved, would clarify that the president may provide incentives to ensure the availability of medical materials essential for national defense, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Hill’s office. The bill also would require the president to create a strategy on securing medical material supply chains, including for drugs used to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease, and would require progress reports to Congress on implementation of the strategy, the summary says.

Rep. Hill in March 2020 first introduced the SAVE Act of 2020, H.R. 6399, in response to the shortage of medical supplies when America started ramping up its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bill stalled in committee.

The newly reintroduced H.R. 3146 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.