Legislation to Increase Federal Medical Research Funding

A tough fiscal environment of spending caps and the threat of budget cuts have led some Members of Congress to consider innovative legislative solutions to increasing the federal government’s investment in medical research.

American CURES and America HEALS Acts
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) have introduced legislation in the Senate and House to help guarantee that funding for key agencies that support medical research, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), continues to increase, even in tough appropriations years.

The American Cures Act (S. 2115) and America HEALS Act (H.R. 4384), respectively, would create a $150 billion trust fund to provide increases to medical research funding each fiscal year. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that funding for designated programs and agencies does not fall below what was allocated the previous year. The specific programs and agencies that would receive additional funding are the following:

  • NIH;
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
  • Department of Defense Health Programs; and
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical and prosthetics research program.

PAN sent letters of appreciation to Sen. Durbin and Rep. Eshoo for their leadership in promoting innovative solutions to increase federal funding for medical research.

Accelerating Biomedical Research Act
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has introduced the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act (S. 2658). The legislation would give the Appropriations Committee the ability to increase funding for NIH above the current spending caps that have limited the federal government’s investment in biomedical research. Specifically, the bill would allow the Committee to provide up to an additional $46.2 billion for NIH spread over Fiscal Years 2015-2021.

PAN also sent a letter of appreciation to Sen. Harkin for his commitment to increasing funding for medical research at NIH.