Election Results and Sequestration
Dear Parkinson's Community,
One cannot overstate the importance of Election Day. The results have such a significant impact on our lives and on those impacted by Parkinson's disease. We now know that the balance of power between the Administration and the House and Senate will remain similar to what it has been for the last two years. Regardless of one's personal views on these issues, this also means that we now know that the Affordable Care Act will likely go into full effect in 2014 (with many details of implementation being decided in 2013), that federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research will continue to go forward (unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise), and discussions regarding Medicare therapy access and coverage will be ongoing. But just as the election may have answered some of these important policy issues, there are so many issues important to our community that remain unresolved.
The president and Congress are returning to Washington for a lame-duck session starting next week. They have six weeks to resolve many critical issues that, depending on decisions made, could either support or weaken the biomedical research enterprise in this country. Congress has until January 2, 2013 to stop sequestration, which, if allowed to occur, will slash $2.5 billion in critical research funding at the National Institutes of Health. If this funding is lost, for even just one year, decades of critical research on a cure for Parkinson's and other diseases could be wiped out.
Next Wednesday, November 14, PAN, together with thousands of other research advocates, will be hosting our first-ever "National Call-In Day" to let Congress know that "We Need Cures, Not Cuts!" I hope you will mark your calendars to join us and ask your friends, family, and networks to do so as well. For more information, click here.
Thank you for your advocacy on all of our issues this year. There is still important work to be done and we hope that you will help us continue to make phones ring on Capitol Hill to protect Parkinson's research funding.
Amy Comstock Rick