The House could vote Wednesday on a vast bill that stretches almost a thousand pages and holds changes large and small for the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.
The House is expected to vote November 30 on a $6.3 billion legislative package that aims to accelerate the development of new cures and treatments.
"This bill, which expedites the approval of drugs and devices, includes literally billions of dollars in additional spending for health research so that we can find the cures and the answers to what patients are demanding today", said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the measure's main sponsor.
Durbin, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, said raiding billions from the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act to help pay for the legislation is backwards, noting the fund pays for vaccination programs for poor children and other preventative health programs.
No doubt there are some good things included in the 996-page bill, like funding for the National Institutes of Health (though not mandatory), money for Alzheimer's research, and helping finance Vice President Joe Biden's cancer "moonshot".
The bill also would seek $1 billion in grants to states to fight opioid abuse.
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said Monday he expects the House and Senate to approve the 21st Century Cures Act, one focus of which increases research on incurable diseases. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also expressed concern over a provision that would weaken drug and device company reporting requirements under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act and the bill was slightly amended on Tuesday to strike the provision.
As previously reported by Healthcare Informatics, House and Senate health committee leaders released a final version of the legislation over the holiday weekend, on Friday, Nov. 25.
Republican states that expanded Medicaid want it kept
Hard issues related to the rationing of care and the control of health care budgets must be addressed by the new administration. Not even close: 16 million of those who gained coverage are enrolled in Medicaid, the public program for low-income residents.
Warren has also launched a petition calling on Congress to reject the 21st Century Cures Act as it stands.
More than 1,455 lobbyists representing 400 companies, universities, and other organizations pushed for or against an earlier House version of a Cures bill this congressional cycle. "We are hopeful that Congress moves forward with passing the 21st Century Cures Act during the current lame-duck session".
The White House said in a statement after the House vote: "The Senate should promptly pass this bill so that the President can sign it". The bill includes a long list of largely uncontroversial provisions, including calls for NIH to produce a comprehensive strategic plan, set up a special initiative for young scientists, establish a prize to incentivize certain kinds of research, and take new steps to encourage data sharing and ensure the reproducibility of NIH-funded research.
"It is a massive bill that has scattered throughout a grab bag of goodies for the medical device and pharmaceutical industries", says Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen Health Research Group.
"This is a patient-centered bill". He said he believes the bill would provide $20 million to help pay for treatment and recovery services in MA. Murphy argues that these positions will bring more accountability and medical knowledge to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency he has criticized as ineffective.
USA lawmakers finally reached an agreement on legislation to fund cancer research and accelerate new drugs to market. "Rather than grading each of the electronic health records (EHRs) on how they perform vis-à-vis usability, security and interoperability, this language just basically says they have to report on how they perform and then these would need to be made publicly available", Smith says.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, this week said his caucus is still working through its concerns.
Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a statement that the bill has "the potential to greatly accelerate and improve cancer detection and treatment in this country".