Republicans Pass Health Reform Repeal Bill; Congressional Committees Plan Hearings on Proposals to Replace Individual
The U.S. House of Representatives
has passed a bill to repeal
the health reform law enacted last year. Although passage of the bill is
largely symbolic, given that Democrats still control the Senate and the White
House, the quick action allows the new Speaker of the House John A. Boehner
(R-OH) and House Republicans to follow through on campaign pledges to “repeal
and replace”and to try to establish their party as a bulwark against what they
see as an out-of-control government. Read more.
House Leadership Hopes to Cut Federal Spending, Including NIH
House Republicans leaders are
planning to cut future federal spending down to fiscal 2008 levels for discretionary
spending outside of military programs and are headed for a showdown with Senate
Democrats over the current stopgap funding law. The spending law expires March
4 and lawmakers will have to reach an agreement before then to avoid a
government shut-down. Read
Stopgap Funding Bill Omits Medicare Funding
Increase Needed to Implement Health Reform
Prior to adjourning for the year,
Congress reached agreement on and passed a spending bill that will maintain current funding levels for the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and most other federal programs through
March 4, 2011. The funding bill, however, reflects Republicans making headway
in efforts to squeeze off funding to implement aspects of the health care
overhaul. Read more.
Request for Information: NIH Imaging in Tissue
Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Workshop
The Multi-Agency Tissue
Engineering Science (MATES) Interagency Working Group will be sponsoring a workshop in the Summer/Fall of 2011 to engage the
research community in identifying gaps and opportunities for the development
and use of imaging methods in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The
NIH has released a Request for Information to solicit information that
will be useful in developing the agenda for this workshop. ASH needs your help
in identifying the issues that this workshop should cover. Read more.
Comments to FDA Regarding Approval Pathway for Biosimilar and Interchangeable
ASH has submitted comments to the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) stressing the need for the FDA to provide a
biosimilar approval process that will ensure clinical effectiveness, patient
safety, and increased access to lower cost biosimilar products. Read more.
NIH Plans to Dissolve NCRR and Create New Center for Translational
The NIH Scientific Management Review Board issued recommendations to dissolve the National Center for Research Resources
(NCRR) and create a new National Center for Advancing Translational Science
(NCATS). The task force released a “straw
model” of the proposed reassignments of current NCRR
programs. Read more.
Announces Plans to Reinvigorate Clinical Trials
The National Cancer Institute
(NCI) has announced major changes to the Clinical Trials Cooperative Group
Program that conducts many of the nationwide trials of new cancer therapies.
NCI intends to consolidate the nine groups that currently conduct trials in
adult cancer patients into four state-of-the-art entities that will design and
perform improved trials of cancer therapies. These moves come in response to an
NCI-requested April 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which
called for a series of changes to the cooperative groups program, including
restructuring. Read more.
Cancer Costs Expected to Reach $158 Billion By 2020
A new NIH study estimates that medical expenditures for cancer are expected to
reach $158 billion in the year 2020, representing a 27 percent increase over
2010, and due mostly to the growth and aging of the U.S. population. The report
indicates that in 2010, medical costs associated with cancer were projected to reach
$124.6 billion, with $12 billion associated with lymphoma. Also according to the report, if newly
developed tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up continue to be
more expensive, medical expenditures for cancer could reach as high as $207
billion. Read more.
Ezekiel Emanuel Leaves White House, Returns to NIH
Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, who has served as a health advisor
at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and spoke at the ASH-EHA Policy
Forum during the 2010 annual meeting, has left OMB to return to his job at the
National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Emanuel, who had been at OMB for the
past two year advising the Obama Administration on health policy during the
health care reform debate, will return to his prior position as Director of
NIH’s Department of Bioethics, a position he held for over a decade before joining OMB.
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