The 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) now being refined by the lame-duck Congress is one of the most-lobbied health care bills in recent history, with nearly three lobbyists working for its passage or defeat for every member on Capitol Hill.–Kaiser Health News
Tom Reed wrote:
Tom Reed continued his support for patients and those suffering with chronic illnesses by cosponsoring legislation which jumpstarts medical research and speeds up the approval process for medical treatment options. “We care about those struggling with incurable diseases and medical conditions. It’s only right that we encourage innovation, focus our resources in a targeted way and get help to those that need it most,” said Tom Reed.
The support comes as the House and Senate have reached an agreement on landmark legislation, 21st Century Cures, which is designed to encourage medical research for incurable illnesses. In addition, the bill will speed up the federal review process and reduce bureaucracy needed to approve new medical treatment options. The bill dedicates $5 billion for National Institutes of Health for targeted medical research and $500 million for the Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval process for medicine and treatment options.
The bill also provides relief to rural hospitals by lessening the federal financial penalties in Medicaid payments when patients have to be readmitted to the institution for care. The current provisions place an often unmanageable financial burden on hospitals in rural and poorer areas.
“We remain committed to ensuring access to quality healthcare. Driving innovation forward will help get costs in check and get better, faster treatments to those in need of care. This bill is a win-win,” Reed concluded.
Tom Reed says he “stands with patients,” but the opposite is true–Reed stands with lobbyists, providers, insurers, and drug makers.
The 21st Century Cures Act is payoff for campaign funding. It does nothing for those currently suffering from illness–any benefits will come far in the future. Medical research does nothing to lower medical costs; rather radical, expensive treatments help make our medical costs the highest in the world.
If Tom Reed stood with patients, he wouldn’t be committed to repealing ACA. If he stood with patients, he wouldn’t support privatizing Medicare.
Under current law, hospitals are encouraged to strive to avoid the need to readmit patients recently discharged. The 21st Century Cures Act would undue that cost saving measure helping hospitals financially rather than patients.
“Targeted” means that Congress directs research. This is unlikely to lead to innovation. Better to let researchers decide what best to study.
The 21st Century Cures Act is at best a diversion from a responsible focus on medical care. It will do nothing to help patients in the short term, incurable diseases are likely to remain incurable, research is unlikely to lower costs. Tom Reed is a lose-lose for his constituents.
Click to access saphr6r_20150708.pdf
The speeding up of FDA approval for drugs and devices, may give some false hope. The American people have already become medical guinea pigs to some extent with drugs and devices not tested long enough before general use (ie. certain hip replacement devices, internal mesh supports, and, nightly we are barraged with ads on TV calling for Americans to join class action law suits against drugs rolled out only a few years ago. Many people will jump at any new “breakthrough” the drug companies come out with, only to find the cure is worse than the disease.
From the Administration statement cited:
The Administration remains concerned about extending drug exclusivity beyond current law and how this provision will affect drug costs. The Administration is also concerned that this bill would make funding subject to problematic ideological riders included in appropriations bills. The Administration believes funding should be free of such riders. The Administration also believes that H.R. 6 could undermine regulatory standards by allowing unproven uses of therapies to be marketed to health care payors as though such uses had been proven safe and effective.
The bill passed today, 392-26. The Hill (http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/308168-house-passes-medical-cures-bill) reports that Warren and Sanders “have blasted it as a giveaway to pharmaceutical companies,” but that enough Democrats should support it. It does nothing for the high price drugs, it waters down Rep. Tim Murphy’s mental health proposal, and the funding is not guaranteed.