Modern HealthcareGOP offers to reopen NIH as shutdown goes into Day 3
The White House and Senate Democrats were unmoved by the House GOP’s bid to restart funding for the National Institutes of Health and some other popular government services while refusing to end the government shutdown without concessions on the healthcare reform law. President Barack Obama finished a meeting at the White House without any sign of a path forward. The House of Representatives passed separate spending bills to fund the NIH, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia in a piecemeal approach to reopen some areas of government. The votes were the second attempt by House Republican leaders to take a piecemeal approach at reopening the federal government since Tuesday, when the House’s Democratic minority blocked three bills that sought to reopen the nation’s parks and museums and fund the Veterans Affairs Department and the government of Washington, D.C. All of the measures the House considered on Wednesday face rejection by Senate Democrats and a veto by President Barack Obama. Although one of the House-passed spending bills Wednesday would fund NIH’s activities for 2014, the American Public Health Association opposed it.

In a statement, Dr. Georges Benjamin, the APHA’s executive director, said although the NIH funds important medical research that his organization strongly supports, funding for agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration is also essential to saving lives.
“Congress should instead focus its efforts on ending the government shutdown and putting an end to the senseless cuts to nondefense discretionary programs through sequestration to ensure all of our nation’s public health agencies and programs are adequately funded,” Benjamin said.

APHAAPHA opposes agency-by-agency approach to ending shutdown
“The American Public Health Association opposes efforts to fund individual agencies at the expense of others as Congress continues to debate proposals to end the government shutdown. This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider the Research for Lifesaving Cures Act, which would fund only the National Institutes of Health at fiscal year 2013 post-sequestration levels through Dec. 15. While NIH funds important medical research that we strongly support, funding other critical agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration is essential to saving lives, preventing disease and disability, conducting disease surveillance, protecting and responding in times of crisis, ensuring the safety of our food, training health care professionals and providing care to the nation’s most vulnerable.”

Huffington PostProtecting public health from climate change
Will Dengue Fever mosquitos touch down someday soon in Chicago? Will the Anopheles Family, better known as the Malaria Mob, buzz the rooftops of Miami in the not too distant future? Sound over the top? Maybe not. As the earth warms, insects, such as mosquitos and tics carrying vector-borne diseases like Dengue, Malaria and Lyme disease are already on the march. This trend is giving new meaning to the term “travel bug.”

NBC NewsObama hails opening of health insurance marketplace, admits some glitches
President Barack Obama marked the opening of enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace in a speech in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday, saying that despite the partial shutdown of the federal government “a big part of the Affordable Care Act is now open for business.” “Today Americans who have been forced to go without insurance can now visit Healthcare.gov and enroll in affordable new plans that offer quality coverage. That starts today,” he said. The president reminded his audience that uninsured people now have six months to sign up in an insurance plan.

Boston HeraldSuspended: Drug trials, public health initiatives
Each week that the tug-of-war on Capitol Hill continues, the National Institutes of Health will turn away about 200 patients, including children with cancer, from its clinical research center, while local clinical trials remain on hold. “The longer time goes on, the more deleterious the impact will be on the research community and patients,” said Dr. Anne Klibanski, chief academic officer at Partners Healthcare.Trials that have received funding but need drug approvals could be delayed because the Food and Drug Administration effectively has been shut down. “I feel terrible. I wanted to get this going,” said Leo Finn, 48, a Buzzards Bay father of three who found out Tuesday that the clinical test of the drug his doctor had hoped might cure his liver cancer was on hold. “I want to see my kids graduate, and I want to walk my daughter down the aisle.” The shutdown impact could prevent the Centers for Disease Control from monitoring the spread of the flu this year, “something that all hospitals look to as an early warning sign,” said John Erwin of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals.