Tuesday, July 17, 2012

House appropriations bill to terminate AHRQ and prohibit funding patient-centered research

Update 7/18/12, 3:30 PM eastern:

The Hill has reported here that the bill has cleared the subcommittee. It will be going to the full committee next week.
The $150 billion bill cuts $6.3 billion from current levels of spending in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Departments and is part of Republican efforts to rein in government spending – an important message for the GOP on the campaign trail.
But other areas are slashed. The bill ends President Obama’s signature Race to the Top education initiative and cuts millions from advanced appropriations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds NPR and PBS. The agency that monitors child labor abroad is cut by 68 percent and the agency that distributes Social Security payments gets cut by $764 million. It also would cut funding for Planned Parenthood if the organization continued to provide abortions.
(Hat tip to Michael Millenson for the above link) 

Yes, folks, you read that right: The House of Representatives has drafted an appropriations bill that will dissolve the AHRQ and prohibit any funding for patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). The AHRQ is an agency that spearheads and funds healthcare safety and quality research, as well as ways to rein in the costs while expanding access. If it is eliminated, there will be no one to focus on these critical issues. This bill is truly anti-patient and the reps must be informed that they have gone too far.

Here are the names of the Appropriations Committee members, with the subcommittee members responsible for this bill in bold (via STFM):

Democratic Members

  • Norman D. Dicks, Washington
  • Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
  • Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
  • Nita M. Lowey, New York
  • José E. Serrano, New York
  • Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
  • James P. Moran, Virginia
  • John W. Olver, Massachusetts
  • Ed Pastor, Arizona
  • David E. Price, North Carolina
  • Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
  • Sam Farr, California
  • Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
  • Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
  • Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
  • Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia
  • Barbara Lee, California
  • Adam B. Schiff, California
  • Michael M. Honda, California
  • Betty McCollum, Minnesota

  • Republican Members

  • Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman
  • C.W. Bill Young, Florida
  • Jerry Lewis, California
  • Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
  • Jack Kingston, Georgia
  • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
  • Tom Latham, Iowa
  • Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
  • Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
  • Kay Granger, Texas
  • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
  • John Abney Culberson, Texas
  • Ander Crenshaw, Florida
  • Denny Rehberg, Montana
  • John R. Carter, Texas
  • Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Jo Bonner, Alabama
  • Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio
  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona
  • Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
  • Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
  • Steve Austria, Ohio
  • Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming
  • Tom Graves, Georgia
  • Kevin Yoder, Kansas
  • Steve Womack, Arkansas
  • Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi
 Call yours at 202-225-3121!

Here are some pertinent links, courtesy of Kenny Lin, MD, and others:
-The House press release (note they brag about defunding ObamaCare and "protecting" life in the same breath)
-The draft of the bill (see page 90)
-AcademyHealth announcement (where I learned about the PCOR prohibition)
-Statement from Mary Wooley, the President of Research!America about why this is a stupid move
-The Incidental Economist blog is compiling a list of useful projects funded by the AHRQ here

So please please please call your reps to stop this insanity!

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