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Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has a ready answer when asked to name a biological threat he especially dreads: the flu.
Lawmakers are using the Ebola outbreak to call for a broader investment in biomedical research and public health funding to avoid scrambling to respond to a specific disease.
Appropriators are expected to include significant extra funding in an omnibus spending package to help agencies continue responding to the Ebola outbreak, but the final number will be less than President Barack Obama requested.
I’m with the Kentucky Air National Guard and recently returned from a humanitarian mission in Senegal, West Africa, to fight Ebola. We established a cargo hub to distribute medical supplies to African countries treating patients. I’m proud to serve our country and be at the forefront for fighting Ebola. I volunteered for this mission because it was essential to provide public health resources not only at home, but abroad as well. Since I’m a resident of Florida, I understand that we are merely one flight away from infectious diseases being introduced into the population. And, I’m a firm believer that we should be assisting with public health efforts globally to any country or continent in need.
Pandemics as rapid and devastating as the current Ebola outbreak, although rare, serve as an important reminder of the critical security and humanitarian work the U.S. does around the world and here at home — not with drones and air bases, but with medical tents and syringes.
When it comes to obesity, my home state of Alabama is usually the bearer of bad news. Only 10 states have a higher childhood obesity rate than we do and only seven states have a higher rate among adults. Our rankings are even worse when we talk about causes of obesity and related health conditions — we have the highest rate of adult diabetes in the nation.
For the past eight years, I have been working to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (HR 647, S 133), legislation that will lead to a brighter future for millions of Americans living with disabilities. Commonly referred to as the ABLE Act, the bill opens this door by amending the tax code to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. And, in so doing, it provides them with the same type of financial planning tool available to other Americans.
The all too familiar story of a piece of legislation’s life cycle began on July 10. With the usual fanfare and traditional press releases, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of members in the House.
The social and behavioral sciences seem to have been painted with a big bull’s-eye, given the escalating number of attacks against National Institutes of Health-supported research grants during the 2014 election season. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., invoked several during his stump speech in support of Republican candidates. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., cited a few more in his latest “Wastebook.” Readers interested in federal support for science might well wonder: Has the NIH, renowned worldwide for high-quality science, lost its collective mind by funding grants of questionable utility, as some Republicans claim? Or have these congressmen merely misunderstood what the social and behavioral sciences have to offer NIH’s health mission?
Nothing better reflects a mashup of neglected issues than the designation of November as national recognition month for Alzheimer’s Awareness, Family Caregivers, Home Care and Long-Term Care. No significant headway has been made on any of these fronts — from sorely underfunded research on this fatal neurodegenerative disease, to caregivers as the “second victim,” to the bankrupting financial health consequences for families and society.
In the impoverished areas of West Africa hit with Ebola, clean water is a luxury. When family and community members come in contact with an infected person, or the deceased, they risk deadly infection simply because they cannot adequately wash their hands.
By choosing Frank Pallone Jr. to be ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress, House Democrats tapped a lawmaker with a track record for helping some of the poorest Americans gain access to medical care.
The number of Ebola cases in the United States may have subsided, but the epidemic in Africa is far from over. And while it is clear the U.S. health care system ultimately rose to the challenge of caring for multiple Ebola patients, the grave mistakes made in Texas should serve as a wake-up call. We must ensure our health care system is better prepared to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of Ebola and other diseases, which is why we are proposing specific legislation to advance this vital goal.
Political games are de rigueur in Washington and the Supreme Court is no exception. With its grant of review in King v. Burwell, the nation’s highest court has set the stage for yet another Affordable Care Act showdown.
Among some Washington policymakers and the media, there is an unfair bias against Caribbean medical schools. Caribbean schools specialize in training primary care physicians, who often return home to serve communities all across our nation. Many of these physicians are first turned away from medical schools in the United States because there are not sufficient openings to meet the high demand.
A well-founded sense of urgency gripped the recent Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the proposed $6.2 billion emergency funding bill to combat the Ebola epidemic. Lives are being lost as Congress deliberates.
People who bought insurance through the marketplaces created last year by the new health care law and who were then offered medical coverage through an employer may feel as if they have more choices than ever before. But the arcane rules about federal subsidies for buying coverage could wind up costing them in the long run.
This year, 37 states will use healthcare.gov as the website to enroll people through the marketplaces created by the health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). The rest have their own websites. The sign-up period goes from Nov. 15 until Feb. 15.
White House emergency spending requests are taking a back seat to a debate about whether to use a wrap-up fiscal 2015 spending package to block executive actions on immigration.
Senate Republicans lacking a filibuster-proof majority next year will need to attract crossover votes from a shrinking pool of centrist Democrats if they are to have any hope of making legislative changes to the health care law.