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Washington Highlights

Senator Durbin Introduces American Cures Act

March 14, 2014—Saying “America’s place as the world’s innovation leader is at risk as we are falling behind in our investment in biomedical research,” Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) March 12 introduced legislation to provide sustained, predictable funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical and Prosthetics Research Program.

The American Cures Act (S. 2115) would augment appropriations for medical research with a mandatory trust fund dedicated to steady growth in medical research supported at the four agencies.

The bill would annually increase funding for each agency and program at a rate of gross domestic product (GDP)-indexed inflation plus 5 percent. According to a statement released by Senator Durbin’s office, “This steady, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies.”

In a March 13 letter  endorsing the bill, AAMC President Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., thanked Senator Durbin for his leadership in making medical research a national priority and said, “By providing steady and predictable funding increases…, your proposal will help ensure that the nation’s scientists and research institutions will continue to advance medical science to improve the health and well-being of all Americans.”

Senator Durbin estimates the bill will provide $1.8 billion in the first year and $150 billion over 10 years.

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) are original co-sponsors of the bill.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806