House proposing to terminate AHRQ

July 21, 2012

Over the past six months we have highlighted many excellent resources and opportunities from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute (PCORI). In a nutshell, here is what they do, as described on their respective websites:

  • AHRQ
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. Information from AHRQ’s research helps people make more informed decisions and improve the quality of health care services. AHRQ was formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
    The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was created to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.

No wonder we love them. These organizations remind us of the importance of quality in times when quality seems to be expendable commodity. Case in point – on Tuesday, July 17, the House Appropriations Committee posted online the proposed, fiscal year (FY) 2013 spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies.

Thank you Academy Health for the information below. This is not the time to be shy. Take action now:

This bill is a devastating attack on health services research funding.

Among the many cuts to public health programs and policy riders, the bill “terminates” the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Sec. 227), zeroing out its budget entirely. This is the first such attack on AHRQ funding in nearly two decades.

AHRQ funds research and programs at local universities, hospitals, and health departments that improve health care quality, enhance consumer choice, advance patient safety, improve efficiency, reduce medical errors, and broaden access to essential services.

But AHRQ is not the only target. The bill also cut The bill would also cut $150 million of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s projected $320 million 2013 budget. Funding for CDC and SAMHSA are cut by 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

We must act to defend and preserve research funding.

In the absence of a comprehensive analysis we feel its severe impact on health services research warrants an immediate response. We believe it is critical that we respond quickly and declaratively to this attack on research.

We urge you to act locally to defend research funding. Now is the time to reach out to your Representatives and tell them that health services research, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, must be protected.

Please review the list below; if your elected official serves on the appropriations committee (those in Bold below are Subcommittee members), please urge them to vote “no” on this bill by calling the Capitol Hill operator at 202-225-3121 and asking for your representative’s office. Ask to speak to speak to the health legislative or appropriations assistant. Do not leave a message with the receptionist other than to have the health aide call you back.

If you’re not sure who your elected official is, please click here and enter your zip code.

At a time of limited resources and complex challenges in health care, our leaders need reliable, unbiased data on what works, and what doesn’t, like never before. Health services research provides many of those answers. Join us as we work to ensure the this important research will be available when it is needed.

Republican Members

Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman
C.W. Bill Young, Florida
Jerry Lewis, California
Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
Jack Kingston, Georgia
Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
Tom Latham, Iowa
Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
Kay Granger, Texas
Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
John Abney Culberson, Texas
Ander Crenshaw, Florida
Denny Rehberg, Montana (Subcommitee Chair)
John R. Carter, Texas
Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
Ken Calvert, California
Jo Bonner, Alabama
Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio
Tom Cole, Oklahoma
Jeff Flake, Arizona
Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
Steve Austria, Ohio
Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming
Tom Graves, Georgia
Kevin Yoder, Kansas
Steve Womack, Arkansas
Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi

Democratic Members

Norman D. Dicks, Washington
Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
Nita M. Lowey, New York
José E. Serrano, New York
Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut (Subcommitte Ranking Member)
James P. Moran, Virginia
John W. Olver, Massachusetts
Ed Pastor, Arizona
David E. Price, North Carolina
Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
Sam Farr, California
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia
Barbara Lee, California
Adam B. Schiff, California
Michael M. Honda, California
Betty McCollum, Minnesota

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