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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
International Convention Against Doping in Sport: Issues for Congress
The International Convention Against Doping in Sport seeks to harmonize anti-doping commitments for non-professional sports at the international level. Issues that may continue to arise as policymakers evaluate the Convention include its relationship to anti-doping regulations in professional sports and the legitimacy and effectiveness of current international anti-doping activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10749/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently-asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE (the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770600/
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress
The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10695/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines (1) the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; (2) mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and (3) existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461895/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines (1) the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of HHS in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; (2) mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and (3) existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94068/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10733/
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
In 1993, President Clinton modified the military policy on providing abortions at military medical facilities. Under the change directed by the President, military medical facilities were allowed to perform abortions if paid for entirely with non-Department of Defense (DOD) funds (i.e., privately funded). Over the last three decades, the availability of abortion services at military medical facilities has been subjected to numerous changes and interpretations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26084/
Global Health: Appropriations to USAID Programs from FY2001 through FY2008
This report details the funds Congress appropriated from FY2001 through FY2008 to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for global health programs. The report includes which key programs said appropriations supported and also discusses the role of other U.S. agencies and departments in this context, including the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10767/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10734/
International Convention Against Doping in Sport: Issues for Congress
The International Convention Against Doping in Sport seeks to harmonize anti-doping commitments for non-professional sports at the international level. Issues that could arise as the Senate considers the Convention include its relationship to anti-doping regulations in professional sports, potential consequences that non-ratification could pose to the United States, and the legitimacy and effectiveness of current international anti-doping activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10750/
The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report examines, first, the authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the President and the Secretary of HHS in providing routine assistance, and assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; second, mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and finally, existing mechanisms, potential gaps, and proposals for financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462504/
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress
The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10696/
Foreign Medical Graduates: A Brief Overview of the J-1 Visa Waiver Program
The Educational and Cultural Exchange Visitor program has become a gateway for foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to gain admission to the United States as nonimmigrants for the purpose of graduate medical education and training. These FMGs either enter under the J-1 nonimmigrant visa or receive waivers that require them to work in a designated healthcare professional shortage area for a minimum of three years. The ability of states to request such waivers is known as the "Conrad State Program," and was added temporarily to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in 1994. It has been extended by the last several Congresses. Legislation has been introduced in the 110th Congress to address the program's expiration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10688/
International Convention Against Doping in Sport: Issues for Congress
The International Convention Against Doping in Sport seeks to harmonize anti-doping commitments for non-professional sports at the international level. This Convention was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2005 and entered in force on February 1, 2007. Issues that could arise as the Senate considers the treaty include its relationship to anti-doping regulations in professional sports, potential consequences that non-ratification could pose to the United States, and the legitimacy and effectiveness of current international anti-doping activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10751/
The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) "Swine Flu" Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases
This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries, and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795645/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE - the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700547/
Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.
In 1998, a U.S. district court held that the imposition of the coal excise tax, or black lung excise tax, on coal destined for export was unconstitutional. The process of refunding the tax has been controversial. This is because some coal producers and exporters have attempted to bypass the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code's refund scheme for bringing suit under the Export Clause in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages from the United States in the amount of coal excise taxes paid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held the court had jurisdiction under the Tucker Act to hear the suits and allowed them as an alternative to the Code's refund process. However, in a 2008 decision, United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., the Supreme Court unanimously held that taxpayers must comply with the Code's administrative refund process before bringing suit. Meanwhile, H.R. 1762 and S. 373 would provide an alternative method for taxpayers to receive coal excise tax refunds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10743/
Iraqi Civilian Casualties Estimates
This report presents various governmental and nongovernmental estimates of Iraqi civilian dead and wounded. The Department of Defense (DOD) regularly updates total U.S. military death and wounded statistics from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). However, no Iraqi or U.S. government office regularly releases publicly available statistics on Iraqi civilian deaths or civilians who have been wounded. Statistics on Iraqi civilian dead and wounded are sometimes available through alternative sources, such as nonprofit organizations, or through statements made by officials to the press. Because these estimates are based on varying time periods and have been created using differing methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using these statistics and should look on them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10684/
Avian Flu Pandemic: Potential Impact of Trade Disruptions
Concerns about potential disruptions in U.S. trade flows due to a global health or security crisis are not new. The possibility of an avian flu pandemic with consequences for global trade is a concern that has received attention recently, although some experts believe there is little cause for alarm. This report considers possible trade disruptions, including possible impacts on trade between the United States and countries and regions that have reported avian influenza infections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10673/
Former NFL Players: Disabilities, Benefits, and Related Issues
This report discusses professional football players' injuries and health conditions that might have long-term consequences for their health. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770530/
Genetic Exceptionalism: Genetic Information and Public Policy
This report provides an overview of the nature of genetic information and its implications for individuals, family, and society. Individuals utilize genetic information to guide health care and other decisions, when possible, and may experience anxiety as a result of genetic test results. Genetic test results for an individual may often be informative for other close family members and thus influence their care decisions. Society must grapple with the effect genetic information may have on our conception of disease, as well as its impact on issues like privacy and equity. The report ends by summarizing the main policy issues involved with a genetic exceptionalist approach to public policy, including defining genetic information; physically separating genetic information from other medical information; unintended disparities between “genetic” and “nongenetic” disease; and the effect of legislation on participation in genetic research, on uptake of genetic technology and on the delivery of high quality health care. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822432/
Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues
This report examines the role that intellectual property rights play in affecting the availability of a patented drug such as Tamiflu during public health crises. The report also explains one legal mechanism for increasing a patented drug’s production without the patent holder’s consent: governments may abrogate a pharmaceutical company’s patent rights by issuing compulsory licenses to other drug companies to manufacture generic versions of the drug. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822719/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821477/
Pandemic Flu and Medical Biodefense Countermeasure Liability Limitation
This report analyzes Division C of the Department of Defense Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, P.L. 109-148, which was signed into law on December 30, 2005, and which limits liability with respect to pandemic flu and other public health countermeasures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847748/
Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database
The purpose of this report is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what the Database apparently is, what it is not, and how it is intended to be used. The report also discusses some of the issues on which Congress could focus its oversight, including appropriation bill language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9556/
Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans' Affairs, FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittees. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9431/
Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority
This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals, a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine situation, and federalism questions that may arise where federal and state authorities overlap. In addition, the possible role of the armed forces in enforcing public health measures is discussed, specifically whether the Posse Comitatus Act would constrain any military role, and other statutory authorities that may be used for the military enforcement of health measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9403/
Authorized Generic Pharmaceuticals: Effects on Innovation
The practice of “authorized generics” has recently been the subject of considerable attention by the pharmaceutical industry, regulators, and members of Congress alike. An “authorized generic”–sometimes termed a “branded,” “flanking,” or “pseudo” generic–is a pharmaceutical that is marketed by or on behalf of a brand name drug company, but is sold under a generic name. Although the availability of an additional competitor in the generic drug market would appear to be favorable to consumers, authorized generics have nonetheless proven controversial. Some observers believe that authorized generics potentially discourage independent generic firms both from challenging drug patents and from selling their own products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9508/
Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans' Affairs, FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittees. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9423/
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparation Act (S. 3678): Provisions and Comparison with Current Law and Related Proposals
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The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
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Veterans' Benefits Issues in the 109th Congress
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The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
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AIDS in Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa ("Africa" hereafter) has been more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. Experts attribute the severity of Africa's AIDS epidemic to the region's poverty, women's relative lack of empowerment, high rates of male worker migration, and other factors. Health systems there are ill-equipped; AIDS' severe social and economic consequences are depriving Africa of skilled workers and teachers, and reducing life expectancy by decades in some countries. This report explains the AIDS crisis and surrounding issues in detail, as well as U.S. and international efforts to provide general and economic aid. Relevant U.S. legislation is also outlined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10298/
AIDS in Africa
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AIDS in Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa has been far more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that 24.5 million adults and children are infected with the HIV virus in the region, which has about 11% of the world's population but more than 64% of the worldwide total of infected people. This report discusses this issue in detail, including the cause of the African AIDS epidemic, the social and economic consequences, response and treatment, and U.S. policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9858/
Human Cloning
This report discusses human cloning science and federal policy regarding human embryo research. It provides background on the topic, federal policies, state laws, Congressional actions, and ethical issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824519/
Background and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research
In August 2001, President Bush announced that federal funds, with certain restrictions, may be used to conduct research on human embryonic stem cells. Federal research is limited to “the more than 60” existing stem cell lines that were derived (1) with the informed consent of the donors; (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes; and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors. No federal funds may be used for the derivation or use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos; the creation of any human embryos for research purposes; or cloning of human embryos for any purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9868/
Background and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research
In August 2001, President Bush announced that federal funds, with certain restrictions, may be used to conduct research on human embryonic stem cells. This report explains the limitations on this research, as well as corresponding and related legislation to the issue of embryonic stem cell research, including the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10274/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
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The Safety of Air Ambulances
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The Safety of Air Ambulances
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Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans' Affairs, FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittees. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10844/
Avian Influenza: Agricultural Issues
Since the fall of 2003, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has spread throughout Asia, infecting mostly poultry but also a limited number of humans. The virus reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East and Africa in 2006. Avian flu is highly contagious in domestic poultry. Strict biosecurity measures are practiced by commercial poultry farms and encouraged by governments. The economic effects of avian flu outbreaks can be significant, especially given international trade restrictions. Controlling avian flu in poultry is seen as the best way to prevent a human pandemic from developing, by reducing the number of animal hosts in which the virus may evolve. This report mainly covers avian flu in poultry, and will be updated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9137/
Iraqi Civilian, Police, and Security Forces Casualty Estimates
This report presents various estimates of Iraqi civilian, police, and security forces casualties. The Department of Defense (DOD) regularly updates total U.S. military deaths and wounded statistics from Operation Iraqi Freedom, as reflected in CRS Report RS21578, Iraq: Summary of U.S. Casualties. However, no Iraqi or U.S. government office regularly releases statistics on Iraqi civilian deaths, Iraqi police deaths, or Iraqi security forces deaths. Statistics on these topics are sometimes available through alternative sources, such as nonprofit organizations, or through statements made by officials to the press. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10832/
Veterans' Medical Care: FY2007 Appropriations
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AIDS in Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa has been far more severely affected by AIDS than any other part of the world. The United Nations reports that 25.8 million adults and children are infected with the HIV virus in the region, which has about 11.3% of the world's population but more than 64% of the worldwide total of infected people. This report discusses this issue in detail, including the cause of the African AIDS epidemic, the social and economic consequences, response and treatment, and U.S. policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8928/
The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States
As noted by the Population Reference Bureau, “The U.S. is getting bigger, older, and more diverse.” The objective of this report is to highlight some of the demographic changes that have already occurred since 1950 and to illustrate how these and future trends will reshape the nation in the decades to come (through 2050). This report discusses the current and projected demographic changes if policymakers accelerate efforts to address and adapt to the changing population profile as it relates to a number of essential domains, such as work, retirement, and pensions, private wealth and income security, and the health and well-being of the aging population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9276/
Military Medical Care Services: Questions and Answers
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U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress
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