Bill Introduced to Protect NIH from Sequestration

Today, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) joined his colleagues to introduce a bill to stop the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled for March 1st with a balance of increased revenue and sensible investments. The Balancing Act will halt impending automatic federal budget cuts, known as “sequester,” which would threaten important national investments like those in medical research—a… Read More


GME Legislation Introduced

Yesterday Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the Primary Care Workforce Access Improvement Act of 2013 (HR 487).  Their bill promotes the training of primary care physicians in rural areas and tests innovative and cost-neutral ways to distribute graduate medical education (GME) payments for the purpose of increasing the number and… Read More


Sequestration would be a “Devastating Blow” to NIH

NIH Director Francis Collins calls the potential cuts from sequestration a “profound and devastating blow” for medical research. If Congress cannot find a way to achieve debt reduction without massive federal spending cuts, NIH will lose 6.4 percent of its budget this year.  This could hurt the availability of research grants.  Currently, 80 percent of… Read More


NIH Announces New Director of CSR

On December 3rd, NIH Director Francis Collins announced the selection of Richard Nakamura, Ph.D., as the new director of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR). Dr. Nakamura has been serving as the acting director of CSR since September 2011 and has previously been both the scientific director and the deputy director of the National… Read More


New NIH Office of Emergency Care Research

To help improve health outcomes of patients who require emergency care, the National Institutes of Health has created a new Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR). The office is a focal point for basic, clinical and translational emergency care research and training across NIH. Although OECR will not fund grants, it will foster innovation and… Read More


Senate Committee Approves Bill Banning Invasive Research on Apes

Late last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved by voice vote the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810) that would ban “invasive” research on chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, or gibbons. The bill prohibits any research that “may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma” to the animal,… Read More


Sequester Impacts

Today US Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released a detailed analysis of the impact of sequestration on dozens of health, education and labor programs. The report includes State level information on funding cuts and details the impact in every State. The report will be featured at a rally this afternoon in DC with non-defense groups.  Read the report… Read More


“Doc Fix” Uncertain

Congress continues to discuss how best to overhaul the system that Medicare uses to determine physician reimbursements, known as the sustainable growth rate (SGR).  The current rates are set to expire at the end of the year but little legislative progress has been made. Most lawmakers agree that they want to replace the current formula… Read More


Labor-HHS-Ed Bill Status

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet announced a full committee markup for its FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, and now many are raising doubts that it will ever do so. On Monday, Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed his belief that his GOP colleagues have “indefinitely postponed” further… Read More


Congress Talks CR, Appropriations, and Sequester

FY 2013 Continuing Resolution:  Several Republican lawmakers are advocating for an early vote on a stopgap spending bill for FY 2013 that would keep the government running into early next year, leaving contentious funding decisions for the next Congress. Most believe they are betting that they’ll have more power next year – possible control of… Read More