HELP approves bills on exercise, traumatic brain injury

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously approved six public health bills Wednesday, including measures promoting exercise (S. 531) and improve care for traumatic brain injuries (S. 2539).

At least two of the bills are likely to become law this year. Already passed by the House, one would expand the federal definition of trauma (S. 2406) and the other would reauthorize programs to improve emergency care (S. 2405).

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Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) singled out the bill on physical activity, which would require federal health officials to publish a report every 10 years with exercise recommendations.

"This important bill will help ensure that all Americans have access to the information they need to support an active and healthy lifestyle by giving them clear, science-based guidelines on physical activity," Harkin said in a statement.

"Providing accurate, timely, and uniform recommendations for physical activity can help communities and families across the country lead longer, healthier lives."

The other bills are designed to strengthen federal research on muscular dystrophy (S. 315) and reauthorize a program guaranteeing emergency medical services for children (S. 2154). 

All measures were approved via voice vote.

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