Friday, May 22, 2015

U.S. bill to fund tick-borne disease research moves forward to House vote

Good News!  A bill that would include research for Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBD) funded by US government at levels appropriate to the dire need is making its way through Congress! We need real answers to reduce suffering, we need accurate tests, and we need to reduce the ability of ticks to spread pathogens to us, our children, our pets, and wildlife! 

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 H.R. 789, the Tick-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act, sponsored by Representative Chris Gibson's (R Kinderhook) was included in the bipartisan "21st Century Cures" Act, which passed unanimously (51-0) in The House Energy & Commerce Committee today. The "21st Century Cures" Act will come before the full House for a vote later this summer.
Here is Congressman Gibson's press release on passage:
And John Ferro of the Poughkeepsie Journal has already jumped on this news! Please thank him and the Journal for their support!
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H.R.789 - Tick-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act of 2015:\ 

The 21st Century Cures Act: UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED
May 21, 2015 

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today unanimously approved the nonpartisan 21st Century Cures Act 51-0. The nonpartisan legislation will help to modernize and personalize health care, encourage greater innovation, support research, and streamline the system to deliver better, faster cures to more patients. The bill has seen continued support throughout the process. H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, was authored by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member DeGette, full committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX).
"This historic day marks a big bipartisan step forward on our path to cures," said Upton. "We have all said too many early good-byes to people we love and treasure. Every single person has a common goal: we want more time with those we love. In this, the greatest country in the world, Americans deserve a system second to none. We can and must do better. The time for 21st Century Cures is now."
"In the last century, American medicine leapt from medicine shows to the mapping of the human genome," said DeGette."With the 21st Century Cures Act, we seek to support the biomedical community in making a similar leap forward in this next century. With billions in support for our premier research and development institutions and comprehensive reform of our systems, 21st Century Cures will make a real difference in the lives of patients and their families."
"Today's vote is an important next step for this committee as we work to get 21st Century Cures enacted into law by the end of the year," said Pitts. "This bill is improved since the Subcommittee marked it up on May 14, and that demonstrates the collaborative nature of our effort. Landmark legislation like 21st Century Cures illustrates that Congress can and should strive for ambitious goals. I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their hard work to modernize our discovery, development and delivery system, which will give hope to millions of Americans for an accelerated path to cures."
"Our committee has had the unique opportunity to help usher our health care system into the 21st century, and I am glad that we have come together to begin to do so in a bipartisan way with this bill," said Pallone. "The 21st Century Cures Act will ensure that innovative treatments are getting to those who need them most, giving real hope to patients and their families. Critical funding for our nation's top research institutions will help to bolster biomedical research, advance cutting edge science, and further improve the process by which life-saving cures are discovered and approved. Today's vote is an important step toward improving the health and lives of millions of Americans."
Green added, "I'm proud of the final bill that was voted out of Committee, which will improve the innovation ecosystem for the development of life-saving medical breakthroughs, foster the development and the interoperability of health information technology, and better leverage critical resources to facilitate the discovery of new cures. After one year of deliberation, research, and stakeholder input we're one step closer to delivering new cures and therapies, and hope to patients."
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