Setting the agenda for his second term in office, President Barack Obama reiterated his vision for biomedical research and Medicare in an era of deficit reduction in his State of the Union Address.
The President’s slate of Medicare reforms includes reducing taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies, increasing financial obligations for the wealthiest seniors, and shifting provider reimbursement to a pay-for-performance model.
"We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital — they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive," Obama said.
To learn more about Medicare reimbursement reforms, check out ASCO’s special series, examining the state of payment reform in oncology.
Obama also called on Congress to avoid the devastating effects of the automatic budget cuts set to take place March 1. The sequester could result in a 5.2 percent cut to the budget of the National Institutes of Health. Along with the American College of Cardiology, ASCO recently sent a letter to the White House urging the Administration to avoid devastating budget cuts.
According to a White House blog post, the sequestration would force NIH to delay or halt scientific projects and cut the number of research awards, which could result in the loss of several thousand research jobs around the U.S. These cuts would delay research progress against costly diseases like cancer.
The budget cuts would also force delays in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and research efforts to review and approve new drugs.
ASCO has joined with 272 other advocates of medical research in a letter sent to all members of Congress expressing concern about the impact of continued cuts to NIH.