Obama seals $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures Act

Written by | December 14, 2016 | 0

The new law passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate with strong bipartisan support, an unusual occurrence during Obama’s term in office.

A large portion of the figure of $6.3 billion will be diverted into the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research including the “moonshot”, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, and regenerative medicine.

The bill also contains provisions for supporting mental health by creating a new position for Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, who will oversee mental health programs across the federal government.

“It’s not always easy to remember, but being able to honor those we’ve lost in this way and to know that we may be able to prevent other families from feeling that same loss, that makes it a good day,” Obama said on the signing of the bill. “It’s a good day to see us doing our jobs.”

There is a personal element to the bill for both Obama and Biden as they prepare to leave office. Obama lost his mother to cancer when she was in her early 50s while Biden recently lost his son, Beau, to brain cancer in 2015. With the bill receiving bipartisan support, as only five senators voted against it, there was a considerable feel-good factor of signing the deal and it was used as a platform by Obama to subtly back his own healthcare reforms from future tampering.

He said, “I’m hopeful in the years ahead that Congress keeps working together in a bipartisan fashion to move us forward, rather than backward in support of the health of our people”.

It is worth noting that two of the senators who voted against the bill are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both notable figures having considerable public support within the US’s political left.

Filed in: International

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply