Federal Relations

January 16, 2013

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

December 8, 2012

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

July 31, 2012

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

July 30, 2012

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,

July 25, 2012

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

“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

July 24, 2012

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

July 19, 2012

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

July 17, 2012

FY 2013 Labor-HHS-ED Draft Bill

The House Appropriations Committee this morning released their draft FY 2013 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  As expected, the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is $6.3 billion below last year’s level and $8.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Health

June 28, 2012

SCOTUS Upholds “Individual Mandate”

The Supreme Court has upheld the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to carry health insurance. The mandate is a key element of the Affordable Care Act.  More details to come.

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