Advocacy News

August 8, 2017



AAOS Leadership Meets with HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD

AAOS Urges Congress to Fund Medical Research, NIH

Despite Failed Vote, Congress Continues Work on Health Care

Legislators Introduce Bill to Expand Telemedicine Coverage, Approve Stark Measure and Military Trauma Legislation

State Corner – Texas Orthopaedic Association Successfully Advocates for Patient-Reported Outcomes, Scoliosis Screenings, Visiting Sports Team Physicians

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AAOS Urges Congress to Fund Medical Research, NIH

AAOS is currently urging Congress to continue funding for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), which was established in 1992 to foster novel approaches to biomedical research in response to the expressed needs of its stakeholders: the American public, military, and Congress. Each year, orthopaedic researchers across the country—using the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP), funded from the CDMRP—work on groundbreaking research to aid our men and women in the military who have sustained potentially life threatening or life altering extremity injuries. This type of research, which also translates to the civilian trauma population, could not exist without this needed funding. Unfortunately, provisions that could essentially end the CDMRP have been inserted into legislation to be considered on the Senate floor in the next month. It is critically important that you contact your Senator immediately to tell them how harmful this language would be to the future of our military readiness. Click here to take action!

Additionally, AAOS last month sent a letter to Congress commending legislators for allocating $34 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 omnibus bill. According to the letter, a $2 billion increase from FY 2016 shows Congress’s commitment towards advancing medical and dental research that impacts countless lives and facets of the medical profession. Still, AAOS urged strong support of the NIH during the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations process as well as an additional $2 billion for the NIH to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in medical and dental innovation.

“While the NIH enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, it concerns us that the President’s proposed FY 2018 Budget would reduce NIH spending by at least 20 percent,” the letter states. “The National Cancer Institute would see a $1 billion cut, while The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute would be reduced by $575 million, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases would see a reduction of $838 million. These unprecedented cuts would set the agency’s budget back to below 2003 levels, leading to the disruption of research resulting in years, if not decades, of setbacks to our nation’s research workforce and infrastructure.”


Rising deficits and spending caps present a difficult budget environment, the letter continued, “but we ask you to look beyond just one fiscal year.” Sustained increases in funding for research, surveillance, and healthy lifestyle promotion through the NIH will not only save lives, but save health care costs in the long term. Medical research nurtures economic growth by creating jobs and new technologies, which in turn will produce billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid savings over the next decade. AAOS emphasized concerns about patients’ futures and how to best combat life-threatening illnesses, many of which are rare and have little to no treatment. “We respectfully ask you to help us provide the highest quality healthcare by prioritizing NIH medical research funding,” the letter concluded.