Congress adjourned briefly on December 11, 2015, after passing a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that will keep all federal programs operating at their Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 levels until December 16. Legislators plan to use the additional time to finalize a final, comprehensive FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill. The remaining issues that need to be negotiated are related to contentions policy-riders and the potential for combining the bill with a large legislative package of tax-extenders.
The budget deal reached by Congress earlier this year allowed legislators to add additional spending to the twelve annual appropriations bills, including the bill that funds the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The public health and medical research communities are expecting NIH to receive a meaningful funding increase through the final omnibus package which should facilitate expanded basic, translational, and clinical research activities over the coming year.
As AANEM’s efforts on optimal patient care in EDX medicine expands, additional organizations have expressed interest in participating. Patient stakeholders from the neuropathy, muscular dystrophy, and other impacted communities are joining the professional societies in asking CMS and Congress to address ongoing challenges that undermine care and drive up healthcare expenditures. A unified voice comprised of both voluntary health groups and professional societies will be crucial as congress and the administration are engaged in this regard with a meaningful public health message and expectations of substantive progress over the coming year.