The news in the past week was more about NIH generally, rather than ME specifically. President-elect Trump has nominated Representative Tom Price to be Secretary of HHS. This has touched off a war of words within the medical community, as doctors and medical students protest the American Medical Association’s endorsement of Price despite his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House, and is expected to pass the Senate. The bill includes an additional $4.8 billion to NIH over 10 years, half what an earlier version of the bill included. The money is intended for the cancer moonshot, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the BRAIN Initiative, although the money is not guaranteed (a point blasted by Senator Elizabeth Warren).
A source commented to me that NIH staff are scrambling to get new projects off the ground before money runs out. However, as I noted previously, no new projects can actually be funded under the continuing budget resolution unless the project was funded in FY2016.
Where all of this leaves us is beyond my guessing powers. Given President-elect Trump’s stated intention to cut taxes, it seems safe to say that money will be hard to come by around Washington in the next few years.
Here are the current cumulative numbers:
|FY 2017||FY 2016|
|RFAs for ME/CFS||ZERO||ZERO|
And here is the table for FY 2017 alone.
|Week Beginning||RFAs Issued||Total Commitment||RFAs for ME/CFS|
If you want more background on the RFA Ticker, read the inaugural post.