Congress divided over 21st Century Cures Act
What's the issue?
On July 10, 2015, the House of Representatives passed the
21st Century Cures Act
. The bill establishes mandatory funding that would be allocated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) each year. This funding would not have to go through the annual appropriations process.
Currently the bill is in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The mandatory funding for NIH is a divisive issue within the Senate. Senate Republicans are hesitant to move a bill out of committee that includes the mandatory funding option for NIH. While top Senate Democrats like Patty Murray (D-WA) state that they will only move the bill out of committee if it includes the funding option.
The Senate committee will meet again in March and April to finish working on the Cures Act.
Why is this important?
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is a branch of the National Institutes of Health. The institute aims to improve the oral, dental and craniofacial health through research and the distribution of important health information.
Allowing NIH to receive funding without going to through the appropriations process ensures improvement of the oral and systemic health of the patients you serve.