Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH Act (S. 800), sponsored by Senators Kirk (R-Il), Bennet (D-CO), Hatch (R-UT), Murkowski (R-AL), Isakson (R-GA), and Collins (R-ME), is on its way to a committee mark-up. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health, Education, and Labor (HELP) Committee announced the health committee will hold an executive session on February 9 to consider S. 800 and 5 other biomedical bills. The February 9 meeting will be the 1st of 3 to produce companion legislation to the 21st Century Cures Act already passed by the House of Representatives. Democrats have only committed to the first markup so far. Chairman Alexander says he hopes to pass enough smaller bills to match the House bill because partisan disputes over drug pricing and additional funding for agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have so far held up broader legislation.
Your Academy is actively supporting S. 800 and is working closely with the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC) on coordinated advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. AAPM&R is a steering committee member of the DRRC.