KHN Morning Briefing

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White House Endorses ‘Cures’ Bill But Proposes Several Changes

The Obama administration gave general support Wednesday for a bipartisan medical "Cures" bill in Congress, but also called for some tweaks to help fund it, such as removal of the 2011 budget cuts known as the sequestration.

The Hill: White House Offers Initial Support For Medical Cures Bill
The Obama administration gave an early endorsement Wednesday for a bipartisan medical cures bill headed to the [full] House this week, while also calling for changes to several GOP-backed proposals. A statement from the White House said it largely supports the multi-billion dollar legislation, which is designed to speed up drug development. (Ferris, 7/8)

Reuters: White House Says Open To Working With Congress On Disease Research Bill
The White House said on Wednesday it was open to working with Congress on a bill that would invest in disease research and would be paid for with sales of oil from U.S. emergency reserves. The House of Representatives is considering a bipartisan bill that would increase funding for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration to boost research and approvals of new treatments for rare diseases. ... The White House expressed general support for the bill but expressed concern about increasing funding without addressing mandatory spending caps known as sequestration. (Rampton and Gardner, 7/8)

POLITICO: Republicans Face Tough Funding Question On 21st Century Cures
The House Rules Committee is taking up 21st Century Cures this afternoon along with 29 amendments from lawmakers. Only a couple of amendments are likely to make it to the floor vote later this week, when they’ll likely be defeated, according to Democratic aides. That includes an amendment to strip Hyde Amendment language that was added to NIH and FDA funding over Democratic objections last week. It’s purely symbolic since FDA and NIH don’t deal with abortion, but GOP appropriators wanted to make sure that the same rider they put on Labor-H bills also gets applied to the new mandatory spending. (Villacorta & Mershon, 7/8)

The Hill: Conservative Breaks With Heritage On Medical Research
One of the House’s most conservative members is urging his GOP colleagues to support a multibillion-dollar medical cures bill over the concerns of the influential Heritage Action Foundation. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) penned a letter late Tuesday in support of the 21st Century Cures Act, which creates billions of dollars of new funding for research at the National Institutes of Health. (Ferris, 7/8)

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