Health

Subcommittee

Subcommittee on Health

The health sector broadly, including private and public health insurance (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP); biomedical research and development; hospital construction; mental health; health information technology, privacy, and cybersecurity; medical malpractice and medical malpractice insurance; the 340B drug discount program; the regulation of food, drugs, and cosmetics; drug abuse; the Department of Health and Human Services; the National Institutes of Health; the Centers for Disease Control; Indian Health Service; and all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security.

Subcommittees News & Announcements


May 24, 2024
Press Release

E&C Leaders to ODNI: What Does the U.S. Intel Community Know About CCP-Linked Security Breach at Canadian High-Containment Lab

Washington, D.C. — In a new letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) have asked for a briefing regarding a Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report that a high security lab in Canada was infiltrated by Chinese scientists connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). BACKGROUND : Recently disclosed information from Canada provides additional insight into the Wuhan Institute of Virology's (WIV) interests and activities in the months leading up to the pandemic. In Canada, it was revealed that Canada's highest security lab (where Ebola and coronaviruses are studied) was infiltrated by Chinese scientists receiving secret payments from China’s military. This information was revealed in a report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in February 2024, following a two-year investigation. Two scientists at Canada’s high-security infectious disease laboratory—Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng—provided confidential scientific information to China and were fired in 2021 after a probe concluded Dr. Qiu posed “a realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security” and it was discovered they engaged in clandestine meetings with Chinese officials. CSIS discovered Dr. Qiu had applied for, and likely received, a position under China’s Thousand Talents Program and that her position came through the WIV. According to CSIS, Dr. Qiu, who worked at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, lied when confronted about her actions, making “blanket denials” and “half-truths, and personally benefited from the arrangement,” noting that she repeatedly lied to the CSIS and “refused to admit to any involvement in various PRC [People’s Republic of China] programs.” In a January 2021 letter recommending that Dr. Qiu’s security clearance be revoked, CSIS stated: “The Service assess that Ms. Qiu developed deep, cooperative relationships with a variety of People’s Republic of China institutions and has intentionally transferred scientific knowledge and materials to China in order to benefit the PRC government.” The two infectious-disease scientists were escorted out of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg in July 2019, and later had their security clearances revoked. They were fired in January 2021. Their whereabouts are not known. Of particular concern is that Dr. Qiu covertly and without authorization provided the Ebola genetic sequence, intellectual property related to research of Ebola, and possibly other pathogens to China. Others informed CSIS that Dr. Qiu and her husband used Gmail accounts extensively, rather than her government of Canada emails. This would appear to be a good source of communications between these spy-scientists in Canada and Wuhan and/or the Chinese military. CSIS found an application from her to one of China’s talent programs that said she would work for the WIV for at least two months every year. As part of her enrollment, CSIS said, Dr. Qiu committed to “building the People’s Republic of China’s biosecurity platform for new and potent infectious disease research.” The CSIS investigation found Dr. Qiu led a project at the WIV that would assess cross-species infection and pathogenic risks of filoviruses, work that CSIS said suggests “gain-of-function studies were possibly to take place.” CSIS also noted Dr. Qiu, who headed the vaccine development and antiviral therapies section at the Winnipeg lab, collaborated on scientific papers with Chinese military researchers, including Major-General Chen Wei, a high-ranking officer in the People’s Liberation Army. In a report, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) found Dr. Qiu lied about an October 2018 trip to China that she had said was a personal vacation, but later acknowledged after being presented with contradictory evidence that the trip was paid for by the WIV and she met the WIV’s director during the visit. CLICK HERE to read the full letter.



May 23, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans to NIH: Is Agency Recovering All Misused Taxpayer Dollars?

Washington, D.C. — In a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Monica Bertagnolli, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) write regarding their investigation into how NIH recovers misused funds from recipient institutions.  KEY LETTER EXCERPT :  “While NIH funding has resulted in significant advances in science and aided in medical breakthroughs, it is also susceptible to fraud and other misconduct. With more than $35 billion in extramural grants awarded in fiscal year 2023 alone, it is essential that the NIH ensures grant funds are used appropriately and identifies and recovers any misused or abused funds.”  BACKGROUND :  The NIH and its institutes and centers may also become aware of financial misuse or fraud through allegations and complaints made by colleagues at the recipient institution, whistleblowers, or even anonymous complaints. Between fiscal years 2013 and 2022, the NIH received an increasing number of allegations of grant fraud—such as embezzlement and theft of funds—totaling more than 200 allegations.  Several public reports have uncovered substantiated cases of misuse of funding provided by the NIH—including findings that researchers at both Harvard University and Scripps Research Institute improperly charged or overcharged the NIH for time researchers spent on grant activities, leading to over $1.3 million and $10 million being refunded to the NIH respectively.  During the same period, the NIH also received more than 1,000 allegations of research misconduct.   The ORI’s website summarizes nearly 30 cases of substantiated research misconduct—including falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism of data or findings supported by NIH-funded research—since 2018.   These cases involve hundreds of millions of dollars, and it is unknown how much of that funding was used specifically by the person(s) found to have participated in the misconduct.   There are only a handful of public cases in which the NIH has managed to recover some funds from institutions found to have failed to protect the integrity of NIH funding.   For example, in 2019, Duke University agreed to repay $112.5 million to resolve allegations that applications and progress reports submitted to the federal government—including the NIH—contained falsified research.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



May 23, 2024
Press Release

E&C, E&W Republicans Press HHS Secretary Becerra on Preventing Civil Rights Violations at Universities Receiving NIH Grants

Inquiry Part of House-Wide Effort to Combat Rise of Antisemitism on College Campuses Washington, D.C. — In a new letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C) Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), E&C Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and E&C Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffth (R-VA), along with House Education and the Workforce Committee (E&W) Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and E&W Subcommittee on Higher Education & Workforce Development Chair Burgess Owens (R-UT), raised concerns over how HHS is ensuring that research universities are preventing harassment and discrimination—particularly against individuals of Jewish faith and heritage. The Chairs note in their letter that colleges or universities that violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can ultimately lose Federal funding.   The investigation comes as part of Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) House-wide effort to crack down on antisemitism on college campuses.  KEY LETTER EXCERPT :  “We are troubled by the fact that colleges and universities that are recipients of massive amounts of Federal research grants from NIH are actively fostering antisemitism on campus and failing to protect Jewish students, faculty, and support staff. Failing to comply with basic safety protections for members of their communities, no matter the cause, may be grounds for disqualification of universities and colleges from receiving Federal funds. Congress has an obligation to ensure compliance with Title VI. If Congress determines an institution of higher education is in violation, we may consider rescinding research and development funds previously appropriated.”  BACKGROUND :  Starting in April 2024, antisemitic, and at times violent, protests broke out across campuses at several prominent universities—including Columbia University, the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), George Washington University (GWU), Harvard University, and Yale University—resulting in unsafe learning and research environments for students, faculty, and staff, especially for those of Jewish faith and heritage.     Beginning on April 17, 2024, an encampment sprung up on Columbia University’s campus with hundreds of protestors and tents.   Protestors vandalized the campus—including residence halls—with banners and signs containing antisemitic sentiments and even support for the terrorist organization Hamas.  Despite over 100 arrests by police, the protests progressed to the occupation of a campus building and physical attacks on Jewish students—leading campus officials to move some classes online.  Professors at Columbia University have openly made antisemitic and even pro-Hamas statements, adding to the harassment of Jewish students.   A prominent rabbi at Columbia University also warned Jewish students to remain off-campus due to fears that the university and New York City police could not keep students safe.   Jewish students on campus have expressed concerns over their safety on campus and the mental and psychological toll the hostile environment is taking on their ability to work and learn.  Columbia University—which across its campuses received more than $682 million in grants from NIH in fiscal year 2023—is just the tip of the iceberg as similar events are spreading to other colleges and universities.   USC—which received more than $358 million in NIH funding in fiscal year 2023—is also overrun with students, faculty, and other anti-Israel protests that led the university to cancel its graduation ceremony out of safety concerns.   A protestor at USC was charged with assault with a deadly weapon—showing the threatening and intimidating nature of these protests. UCLA—which received more than $580 million in NIH grants in fiscal year 2023—is yet another example of the impact these actions have on the ability of students—particularly Jewish students—to learn. Protesters at UCLA have blocked off sections of the campus, refusing access to Jewish students seeking to attend their classes.  According to a phone call with UCLA police, the directive from UCLA was to not interfere with the protestors.  Just a few blocks from the White House at GWU—which received more than $73 million in grants from NIH in fiscal year 2023—encampments spread beyond the campus onto public streets, and for weeks no action was taken to clear the encampments.  At both Yale University—which received more than $621 million in grants from NIH in fiscal year 2023—and Harvard University—which received more than $400 million across its campuses in grants from NIH in fiscal year 2023—concerns about antisemitism circulated even before the protests erupted. Dozens of protestors were arrested after setting up an encampment at Yale University and parts of Harvard University have been closed, with classes held remotely in response to hundreds of protestors gathering on campus.  Several lawsuits have been filed against these universities alleging violations of civil rights protections and failure to provide a safe environment, and the U.S. Department of Education has opened investigations into several colleges and universities—including Columbia University—for potential civil rights violations.  According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), colleges and universities are prohibited from discriminating based on a variety of categories—including national origin. These laws also protect students who are, or are perceived to be, members of a religious group—including those of Jewish faith. A college or university is in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if: 1) there is harassing conduct on the basis of race, color, or national origin that is sufficiently serious as to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program (i.e., creates a hostile environment); 2) a responsible employee of the school knew, or should have known, about the harassment; and 3) the school failed to take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the harassment, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent the harassment from reoccurring, and as appropriate, remedy its effects.  According to NIH’s Grant Policy Statement, any institution receiving Federal funds must assure work environments are free of discriminatory harassment and are safe and conducive to high-quality work.  HHS’s OCR is responsible for ensuring that institutions that receive Federal financial assistance comply with Title VI as well as other civil rights laws.   Colleges or universities that violate Title VI can ultimately lose Federal funding.   CLICK HERE to read the full letter.


Subcommittee Members

(30)

Chairman Health

Brett Guthrie

R

Kentucky – District 2

Vice Chair Health

Larry Bucshon, M.D.

R

Indiana – District 8

Ranking Member Health

Anna Eshoo

D

California – District 16

Michael Burgess

R

Texas – District 26

Bob Latta

R

Ohio – District 5

Morgan Griffith

R

Virginia – District 9

Gus Bilirakis

R

Florida – District 12

Richard Hudson

R

North Carolina – District 9

Buddy Carter

R

Georgia – District 1

Neal Dunn, M.D.

R

Florida – District 2

Greg Pence

R

Indiana – District 6

Dan Crenshaw

R

Texas – District 2

John Joyce

R

Pennsylvania – District 13

Troy Balderson

R

Ohio – District 12

Diana Harshbarger

R

Tennessee – District 1

Mariannette Miller-Meeks

R

Iowa – District 1

Jay Obernolte

R

California – District 23

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

R

Washington – District 5

John Sarbanes

D

Maryland – District 3

Tony Cardenas

D

California – District 29

Raul Ruiz

D

California – District 25

Debbie Dingell

D

Michigan – District 6

Ann Kuster

D

New Hampshire – District 2

Robin Kelly

D

Illinois – District 2

Nanette Diaz Barragán

D

California – District 44

Lisa Blunt Rochester

D

Delaware

Angie Craig

D

Minnesota – District 2

Kim Schrier

D

Washington – District 8

Lori Trahan

D

Massachusetts – District 3

Frank Pallone

D

New Jersey – District 6

Recent Letters


May 24, 2024
Press Release

E&C Leaders to ODNI: What Does the U.S. Intel Community Know About CCP-Linked Security Breach at Canadian High-Containment Lab

Washington, D.C. — In a new letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) have asked for a briefing regarding a Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report that a high security lab in Canada was infiltrated by Chinese scientists connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). BACKGROUND : Recently disclosed information from Canada provides additional insight into the Wuhan Institute of Virology's (WIV) interests and activities in the months leading up to the pandemic. In Canada, it was revealed that Canada's highest security lab (where Ebola and coronaviruses are studied) was infiltrated by Chinese scientists receiving secret payments from China’s military. This information was revealed in a report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in February 2024, following a two-year investigation. Two scientists at Canada’s high-security infectious disease laboratory—Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng—provided confidential scientific information to China and were fired in 2021 after a probe concluded Dr. Qiu posed “a realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security” and it was discovered they engaged in clandestine meetings with Chinese officials. CSIS discovered Dr. Qiu had applied for, and likely received, a position under China’s Thousand Talents Program and that her position came through the WIV. According to CSIS, Dr. Qiu, who worked at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, lied when confronted about her actions, making “blanket denials” and “half-truths, and personally benefited from the arrangement,” noting that she repeatedly lied to the CSIS and “refused to admit to any involvement in various PRC [People’s Republic of China] programs.” In a January 2021 letter recommending that Dr. Qiu’s security clearance be revoked, CSIS stated: “The Service assess that Ms. Qiu developed deep, cooperative relationships with a variety of People’s Republic of China institutions and has intentionally transferred scientific knowledge and materials to China in order to benefit the PRC government.” The two infectious-disease scientists were escorted out of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg in July 2019, and later had their security clearances revoked. They were fired in January 2021. Their whereabouts are not known. Of particular concern is that Dr. Qiu covertly and without authorization provided the Ebola genetic sequence, intellectual property related to research of Ebola, and possibly other pathogens to China. Others informed CSIS that Dr. Qiu and her husband used Gmail accounts extensively, rather than her government of Canada emails. This would appear to be a good source of communications between these spy-scientists in Canada and Wuhan and/or the Chinese military. CSIS found an application from her to one of China’s talent programs that said she would work for the WIV for at least two months every year. As part of her enrollment, CSIS said, Dr. Qiu committed to “building the People’s Republic of China’s biosecurity platform for new and potent infectious disease research.” The CSIS investigation found Dr. Qiu led a project at the WIV that would assess cross-species infection and pathogenic risks of filoviruses, work that CSIS said suggests “gain-of-function studies were possibly to take place.” CSIS also noted Dr. Qiu, who headed the vaccine development and antiviral therapies section at the Winnipeg lab, collaborated on scientific papers with Chinese military researchers, including Major-General Chen Wei, a high-ranking officer in the People’s Liberation Army. In a report, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) found Dr. Qiu lied about an October 2018 trip to China that she had said was a personal vacation, but later acknowledged after being presented with contradictory evidence that the trip was paid for by the WIV and she met the WIV’s director during the visit. CLICK HERE to read the full letter.



May 23, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans to NIH: Is Agency Recovering All Misused Taxpayer Dollars?

Washington, D.C. — In a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Monica Bertagnolli, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) write regarding their investigation into how NIH recovers misused funds from recipient institutions.  KEY LETTER EXCERPT :  “While NIH funding has resulted in significant advances in science and aided in medical breakthroughs, it is also susceptible to fraud and other misconduct. With more than $35 billion in extramural grants awarded in fiscal year 2023 alone, it is essential that the NIH ensures grant funds are used appropriately and identifies and recovers any misused or abused funds.”  BACKGROUND :  The NIH and its institutes and centers may also become aware of financial misuse or fraud through allegations and complaints made by colleagues at the recipient institution, whistleblowers, or even anonymous complaints. Between fiscal years 2013 and 2022, the NIH received an increasing number of allegations of grant fraud—such as embezzlement and theft of funds—totaling more than 200 allegations.  Several public reports have uncovered substantiated cases of misuse of funding provided by the NIH—including findings that researchers at both Harvard University and Scripps Research Institute improperly charged or overcharged the NIH for time researchers spent on grant activities, leading to over $1.3 million and $10 million being refunded to the NIH respectively.  During the same period, the NIH also received more than 1,000 allegations of research misconduct.   The ORI’s website summarizes nearly 30 cases of substantiated research misconduct—including falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism of data or findings supported by NIH-funded research—since 2018.   These cases involve hundreds of millions of dollars, and it is unknown how much of that funding was used specifically by the person(s) found to have participated in the misconduct.   There are only a handful of public cases in which the NIH has managed to recover some funds from institutions found to have failed to protect the integrity of NIH funding.   For example, in 2019, Duke University agreed to repay $112.5 million to resolve allegations that applications and progress reports submitted to the federal government—including the NIH—contained falsified research.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



May 23, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans Investigate Whether CMS CLIA Accreditation Contains Adequate National Security Safeguards

Washington, D.C. — In a new letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) are seeking answers as to whether the agency adequately safeguards Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendments (CLIA) lab accreditation from national security concerns.  The Members are particularly concerned with national security concerns related to the Chinese military and the unethical use of human beings in research studies by entities of concern in China.  BACKGROUND :  Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) is a firm based in Shenzhen used by the Chinese government to build and operate the China National GeneBank, “a vast and growing government-owned repository that includes genetic data drawn from millions of people around the world.”  The Department of Defense in 2022 officially listed BGI as one of several “Chinese military companies” operating in the United States, and a 2021 U.S. intelligence assessment linked the company to the Beijing-directed global effort to obtain even more human DNA, including from the United States.  On March 6, 2023, the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security added BGI Tech Solutions (Hongkong) Co. Ltd., to the “Entity List,” which identifies entities for which there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that the entities have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.  It was added to the entity list “based upon information that indicates their collection and analysis of genetic data poses a significant risk of contributing to monitoring and surveillance by the government of China, which has been utilized in the repression of ethnic minorities in China. Information also indicates that the actions of these entities concerning the collection and analysis of genetic data present a significant risk of diversion to China’s military programs.”  CMS accredited a laboratory owned by BGI in 2017-2019. It then provided a CLIA accreditation to an entity called BGI Tech Solutions (Hongkong) Co. Ltd., effective September 8, 2023, with an expiration date of September 7, 2025, and with the same address and the same point of contact listed in the previous BGI CLIA lab accreditation.  CLICK HERE to read the letter.