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House Passes Bipartisan TREAT Astronauts Act

Dec 7, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives today unanimously approved the To Research, Evaluate, Assess, and Treat Astronauts Act (H.R. 6076), or “TREAT” Astronauts Act. The bill, sponsored by Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas), establishes a spaceflight occupational healthcare program for former American astronauts.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “In an age when spaceflight has come to seem almost routine, it is easy to overlook how dangerous it is and how little we know about its long-term health effects. H.R. 6076, the “TREAT Astronauts Act,” ensures that our courageous men and women who venture into space receive support for medical issues associated with their service. The TREAT Astronauts Act also will help us better understand the medical science of human spaceflight, enabling the next generation of explorers to literally go where no man has gone before.

“I thank Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin for introducing this legislation and for his persistence in getting us to the point of passage.” Chairman Smith’s full statement can be viewed here.

Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas): “I am proud to say that I represent a great number of these astronauts who call the Houston area home.  As a nation we have obligations to those we put in harm’s way.  As a Congress, we have a responsibility to provide for the treatment of conditions caused by federal service.  As a health care professional and as their representative, you could say it is my duty to make sure these folks are taken care of properly.

“This is why I have sponsored H.R. 6076, the “TREAT Astronauts Act,” a common sense, fiscally responsible, bipartisan bill that makes sure our brave men and woman that venture into space receive support for medical issues associated with their service.” Chairman Babin’s full statement can be viewed here.

H.R. 6076 authorizes the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) to provide former astronauts and former payload specialists medical monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological and medical conditions associated with their space flight. The TREAT Astronauts Act builds upon existing NASA research authorities and NASA’s Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health program.

The TREAT Astronauts Act ensures that our brave men and women that venture into space receive support for medical issues associated with their service. It also allows NASA to get more research data on the effects of human spaceflight. 

H.R. 6076 is fiscally responsible, establishing NASA as a secondary payer to existing obligations of the United States or any third party.

A summary of the bill can be found here

114th Congress