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  • Washington Highlights

    House and Senate Letters Call for AHRQ Funding in FY 2017

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) led a March 24 letter urging House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to provide $364 million in budget authority for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in fiscal year (FY) 2017. A total of 32 members joined Rep. Van Hollen in signing the letter.

    The letter highlights the role AHRQ plays in the “federal health research continuum.” The letter adds that more funding for AHRQ will “show dividends as the agency generates evidence, data and tools to make health care as effective, efficient, affordable equitable, and safe as possible for American patients.”

    Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was joined by 14 senators on a March 17 letter to Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) recommending $364 million for AHRQ.

    Similar to the House effort, the letter highlights the benefits of AHRQ, adding, “[B]iomedical research to discover and develop cures is important, but if we don’t have AHRQ-funded research and data to ensure we optimally deliver those innovations, we are falling short on our promise to American patients.”

    Sen. Blumenthal and his colleagues note that AHRQ’s research “will help close the fiscal gap by better understanding how to eliminate the 30 percent of health care spending that is identified as inappropriate, ineffective, or harmful.”

    Meanwhile, the Friends of AHRQ sent letters to the House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee leadership recommending a budget authority of $364 million for AHRQ in FY 2017 [see Washington Highlights, March 18].