The House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Bill, a $6.3 billion landmark piece of legislation by a vote of 392 - 26 that will accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments and provide new funding for the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for final consideration and approval.
AAPM&R applauds the House for passing this legislation and proudly recognizes the 21st Century Cures Bill includes a key provision–Section 2040–enhancing the stature and visibility of medical rehabilitation research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The rehabilitation research provision in the House bill is virtually identical to Senate Bill S.800 the “Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH Act,” that was approved unanimously by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in February 2016.
The Academy has been a leader in advocacy efforts to bring S.800 and the advancement of rehabilitation science and research at NIH to this point. Academy efforts go back as far as 2012 when NIH published the “Blue Ribbon Panel on Medical Rehabilitation Research Report," which was the impetus for the original rehabilitation research legislation. The panel concluded that rehabilitation research is not thriving at NIH in part because the NIH had not updated its research plan for the conduct and support of medical rehabilitation research since 1993. An updated medical rehabilitation research plan was recently published in September 2016.
AAPM&R, along with our members, stand with the millions of Americans with disabilities, illnesses, and chronic conditions that require medical rehabilitation to restore, maintain, or prevent deterioration of function.
Stay tuned for a decision from the Senate and learn more: