Reforming Federal Powers to Control Emerging Infectious Conditions: CDC's Regulatory Proposals

ABA Health eSource 2016; 13(4)

9 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2017

See all articles by James G. Hodge

James G. Hodge

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Sarah Wetter

Center for Health and Homeland Security, University of Maryland

Danielle Chronister

Arizona State University (ASU), Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Students

Sarah Noe

Arizona State University (ASU), Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Students

Date Written: December 20, 2016

Abstract

On August 15, 2016, CDC shared for initial public comment newly proposed regulations to clarify its powers pursuant to the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). These regulatory powers, reserved largely for public health exigencies, explain CDC’s authority to assess, apprehend, quarantine, test, examine, isolate, and monitor ill individuals with potentially infectious conditions arriving or traveling in the U.S.

CDC is attempting to strengthen its national public health powers amidst expanding infectious disease threats, particularly among foreign and interstate travelers, within a federalist structure traditionally dominated by state, territorial, tribal, and local public health efforts. Modernizing federal social distancing powers may be beneficial especially for health providers (and their legal counsels) responsible for screening and treating suspect patients. Yet CDC’s draft regulations raise numerous legal and policy concerns that could limit their utility.

This article examines the need for revamped federal powers in a globalized society rife with disease risks as a backdrop to CDC’s proposed regulations in response. Public health support for CDC’s role is explored coextensively with potential constitutional and other legal pitfalls that may derail execution of the regulations absent final changes.

Keywords: public health law, public health emergency, communicable disease, policy

Suggested Citation

Hodge, James G. and Wetter, Sarah and Chronister, Danielle and Noe, Sarah, Reforming Federal Powers to Control Emerging Infectious Conditions: CDC's Regulatory Proposals (December 20, 2016). ABA Health eSource 2016; 13(4). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2889062

James G. Hodge (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
111 E. Taylor Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States
480-727-8576 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.asu.edu/degree-programs/public-health-law-policy

Sarah Wetter

Center for Health and Homeland Security, University of Maryland ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21230
United States

Danielle Chronister

Arizona State University (ASU), Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Students ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

Sarah Noe

Arizona State University (ASU), Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Students ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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