WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) spoke on the Senate floor today in support of the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation to accelerate the discovery and development of new cures and treatments for rare disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases impacting millions of American families every year. The bill also includes funding for biomedical research at the National Institute of Health (NIH), assistance for mental health efforts, provisions to accelerate the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval and drug development processes, and funding to fight opioid abuse and suicides. It also includes provisions Sen. Moran has supported to help rural hospitals in Kansas.
“Far too many Kansas families are living with the burdens of chronic diseases,” said Sen. Moran. “This bill will help end the pain and heartache that come from diagnoses and provide hope to millions of Americans. Investing in this research now will save us billions of dollars in healthcare costs in the future and improve the quality of life for Kansans and Americans.”
Highlights of Sen. Moran’s remarks may be found below, along with a link to the video:
(:10): “Since my arrival in the United States Senate a few years ago, I have been a proponent and an advocate, and attempted to champion an issue that many in the Senate care about. That is the desire to increase America’s investment in medical research, to increase the likelihood of outcomes that are desirable in improving every American’s well-being, to end the pain and heartache that comes with diagnoses that often end in difficult lives and ultimately death.
(1:38): “This Cures Act invests in the future of our country by providing a significant increase in federal support for life-saving biomedical research… that will simply impact the life of every American, certainly every American family. These important investments range from increasing the funding at the National Institutes of Health, advancing precision medicine initiatives, funding important cancer research through the cancer ‘moonshot’ and supporting the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
(2:31): “We want to give the FDA the tools necessary to accelerate the process by which lifesaving drugs and devices are available for Americans and for citizens around the globe. Under this legislation, the Cures Act, the NIH… will receive a significant dollar investment increase over the next 10 years. We know that will drive research forward to develop greater understanding of rare diseases.
(4:07): “I want young Kansans to have a future. If they’re interested in science and mathematics and engineering and research, I want them to have an opportunity to pursue those careers – hopefully in our state, but certainly in this country. And we want the United States of America to continue to be at the forefront of medical research in the realm of science and engineering as well.
(5:27): “The amount of money that we can save, if we would find the cure for cancer, find the delay for the onset of Alzheimer’s, is certainly in the billions of dollars, and investment in medical research helps us save health care dollars. Therefore, helping us make health care insurance more affordable for more Americans.
(11:48): “Rural Kansans… deserve to have the attention that we need for treating individuals who choose to live in rural America and keeping those hospital doors open, keeping physicians in our communities, keeping pharmacies open on Main Street. Those are things that matter greatly to me. And unfortunately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a component of the Department of Health and Human Services, often creates rules and regulations that make no sense in the places that you and I come from. So I’m supportive of a couple of things in particular that are included in this. We’ve had a regulation that came from CMS… generally called physician supervision. Its enforcement is delayed one year in the Cures Act. I’m a sponsor of legislation to rid us of that regulation permanently, but it’s a benefit to have it out of the system for another year as we work to find that permanent solution.
(13:30): “When I was in the House of Representatives I authored legislation that created an opportunity to expand the Critical Access Hospital designation to hospitals that are slightly larger, that wouldn’t otherwise meet the criteria to be a critical access hospital, and that is 25 beds or less. There is a demonstration project, a pilot program that has been operating in the country for the last five years trying to determine what cost-based reimbursement would mean for hospitals that are slightly larger than that 25 beds, and that demonstration project is expiring. And fortunately, language in the Cures Act extends that community health demonstration project, something, again, we've worked hard to make certain happens.
(14:22): “I would conclude by saying the United States has a responsibility to continue our leadership in providing medical breakthroughs that will help change the world, certainly change people’s lives. To develop those cures and treat diseases. And we must commit ourselves to significant support for research that is supported in legislation just like the 21st Century Cures Act. It has the capacity… to benefit millions of Americans suffering from chronic diseases. It can help our grandparents, our children, our life-long best friends. And we can avoid the tragedy that comes with a diagnosis that often ends in death. People’s lives depend upon decisions that we make, and this is a decision that we can make that will benefit many, many Americans and their families.”
Click here to watch Sen. Moran’s remarks on YouTube.