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Eshoo Introduces American HEALS Act

April 11, 2014—Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) April 3 introduced the American HEALS (Helping Encourage Advancements in Lifesaving Science) Act (H.R. 4384) to expand support for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical & Prosthetics Research Program.

The bill is a companion to the American Cures Act (S. 2115) introduced March 12 in the Senate by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) [see Washington Highlights, March 14].

In a statement Rep. Eshoo said, “Investment in biomedical research, including at the National Institutes of Health, is at unprecedented lows, jeopardizing our national health and preventing future breakthroughs. More than half of basic research funding in the U.S. comes from the federal government, yet we spend two-thirds less on research and development than we did in 1965. A trust fund for our biomedical research agencies can reverse this dangerous trend and ensure that the United States is the leader in scientific discovery.”

In an April 10 letter  endorsing the bill, AAMC President Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., thanked Rep. Eshoo for her 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.”

The American HEALS Act would augment federal appropriations for biomedical research with a mandatory trust fund dedicated to steady growth in research conducted at NIH, CDC, DHP, and the VA. The bill would increase funding for each agency and program every year at a rate of inflation indexed to the gross domestic product (GDP) plus 5 percent.

Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) are original cosponsors of H.R. 4384.


Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525


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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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