Supreme Court Affirms Affordable Health Care Act

Today, in a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). The landmark ruling came as a bit of a surprise to observers of the high court and Capitol Hill, as oral arguments held earlier in the year seemed to indicate Continue reading

Summer on the Hill #1: Positive Intentions for the Budget

Summer has arrived in Washington, bringing record heat yet changing little in the standoff between Congress and the White House over the federal budget and how to avoid severe across-the-board cuts (also known as the “budget sequester”) set to take place on January 2nd of next year. The summer is proving no time to relax, as Congress and organizations such as AADR try to halt drastic cuts in research and other areas.

During the past week,  Continue reading

Ask the Candidates…

As the 2012 election season heat up, it’s time to find out where congressional and presidential candidates stand on health research issues. AADR is working with Research!America on an award-winning voter education initiative, Your Candidates–Your Health 2012. This initiative gets candidates on the record with their views on health research and displays their responses to a questionnaire on the Your Candidates-Your Health website.

We need your help TODAY to reach out to the candidates and ask them to complete this short questionnaire. Research to improve health is a critical issue for our nation, and Americans deserve to know where candidates stand. Send a message to the campaigns right away. Together, we can put the spotlight on health research in the 2012 elections. Like this alert on Facebook.

“…No way to spare any field of medical research,” Says Dr. Collins

Responding to questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins stated in hearing on June 21st that impending across-the-board budget cuts would spare no area of medical research. He explained that roughly 2,300 or 25% of grants that NIH intended to issue in FY13 would not be funded. According to Dr. Collins, Continue reading

NIH Launches Impact of NIH Research Website

NIH has launched a website designed to capture the impact of its funded research. The website is timely, as agencies will increasingly need to demonstrate their utility as Congress and the White House continue efforts to develop a long-term deficit reduction package. The website features details on the impact of NIH research on health and the economy, as well as provides a toolkit that individuals can use in their communications with policymakers and others.

Impact of NIH Research Website

Senate Subcommittee Advances Funding for NIH

Yesterday, the Senate Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education advanced a Fiscal Year 2013 spending bill that would provide NIH a 0.33% or $100 million increase over the FY12 level. Continue reading

OMB and Agencies Avoid Planning for Sequester

In a June 7th meeting of health associations and the public health branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials explained that the executive branch is not planning for implementation of across-the-board cuts of 8-10% that are scheduled to take effect in January 2013. It is the policy (or hope) of the administration that resouces should not be spent on such planning, as a deal will be struck with Congress — likely after the November elections — that achieves the same savings as called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011 but does so in a more targeted fashion. The administration and many in Congress continue to demand a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction. Officials at OMB acknowledged that after the elections there will be little time to forge an agreement, and even less time to properly implement across-the-board reductions if they actually became necessary.

OMB continues to welcome suggested efficiencies that could be developed within federal agency/program operations.

“Most Comprehensive Oral Health Bill [Ever]…” Introduced

On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced what he described as “the most comprehensive oral health bill in the history of the Congress.” The authorization bill has five objectives: expanding coverage, creating new access points, enhancing the workforce, improving education, and funding additional research.” The research component supports prevention and disease management studies, particularly as related to disadvantaged communities. Funding is authorized for the CDC, AHRQ, NIDCR, as well as the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Within NIDCR, the bill identifies oral disease management including pharmaceutical-behavioral interventions as a priority.

Sanders Press Release
Cummings Press Release
Sanders Statement
Full Senate Bill
Senate Report: Dental Crisis in America
AADR Letter of Support of NIDCR Provision

The Sanders bill faces a difficult road ahead in the current Congress, as it comes with a price-tag that is likely to dissuade Members from joining the effort. However, in the briefing to unveil the legislation, Senator Sanders stated emphatically that the bill would pass. His proposed offset to the cost of the legislation is a transaction fee on Wall Street speculators. Congressman Elijah Cummings will put the legislation forward on the House-side of Capitol Hill.

AADR members are encouraged to communicate their thoughts on the legislation to their Congressional offices.