Entries in Funding (3)


Health and Human Services to Boost Alzheimer’s Research Funding

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration plans to increase federal funding for Alzheimer’s disease research and caregiver support by more than 25 percent over the next two years, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

The decision will provide $156 million in added funds through 2013 if authorized by Congress. The National Institutes of Health already spend $450 million in research of the condition.

Congressional approval will not be required for part of the measure: $50 million for research will be released immediately to NIH as part of the White House’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative. An additional $80 million will be allotted in the government’s 2013 budget proposal.

The remaining $26 million will be allocated to goals outside pure research, including public awareness and support for caregivers. According to government statistics, more than 5 million Americans suffer from the condition. At the National Press Club Tuesday morning, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that because of the aging of the U.S. population, the number of patients could double by 2050.

“We cannot wait to confront the growing threat that Alzheimer’s disease poses to American families and our nation as a whole,” she said.

Tim Armour of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund echoed the sentiment, pointing out that Baby Boomers are now entering the age of highest risk.

“Alzheimer’s threatens to bankrupt our health care system, affect the quality of care provided to patients, and mature into one of the worst health care crises our nation has ever seen,” Armour said.

The move comes on the heels of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in January. The order called for a more focused and coordinated plan for research and prevention of the disease.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Actor, Iraq Vet Lobby for Increased Biomedical Research Support

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Just as wounded soldiers are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with amputations, brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, a new survey finds flagging public support for biomedical research needed to help them recover.

Two people who can testify to the importance of such research are CSI actor Robert David Hall, and Lt. Col. Tim Karcher of the U.S. Army.  Both men are double amputees.  On Thursday, they helped launch an education and media campaign to raise support and awareness for basic biomedical research to help wounded veterans and civilians.

“I have arguably $80,000 to $100,000 worth of legs on right now,” Karcher told ABC’s Top Line Thursday, showing off his new prosthetics beneath a pair of khaki shorts.

“It’s a little tougher if you’re a civilian,” quipped Hall, “I only have $30,000 worth of legs on me.”

It was a good-natured exchange with a serious message.  Karcher lost both his legs in Afghanistan in 2009.  Since then he says he has seen and experienced huge progress in the biomedical and prosthetics fields.

Karcher said he is not worried about declining support for soldiers like himself.

“There’s no other nation in the world that would put the kind of investment in their wounded soldiers like our nation does,” he said.

But Hall, a civilian, said a survey released last week found waning public opinion on basic biomedical research.  The survey, from Zogby International, reported support among Americans dropped to 55.7 percent, down from more than 70 percent during the Vietnam era.

“I can’t tell you how important it is to keep the ball rolling.  It’s one of the reasons Tim and I are here, is to make sure that funding is maintained,” said Hall.

The actor said while he realizes it is a tough time economically for Congress, the country must not let down service members.  Especially since military research for veterans often transfers over to civilians.

Karcher’s new legs are the latest prosthetic advancement -- they were approved for above-the-knee amputees less than four months ago, and Karcher was the first to receive them.  The legs have a five-day battery life -- a significant improvement from the 36 to 40 hours in the previous version.  Karcher also said they have running and stair-climbing functions, and have a more natural gait.

“I have the old version,” said Hall, pulling up his pant leg to give a side-by-side comparison of the prosthetic legs.  “And this is the cooler new one,” he added, patting Karcher on the knee.

Karcher said a joint project between the Department of Defense and a private company is working on “combat-capable” legs.  Karcher’s legs are one of the first generations of such prosthetics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Two Dead Since Arizona Medicaid Program Slashed Transplant Coverage

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Two Arizona Medicaid recipients denied potentially life-saving organ transplants have died, even as Arizona doctors, transplant survivors and some lawmakers push to restore health care benefits that were slashed last fall.

On Oct. 1, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System stopped paying for seven types of transplants that the state's GOP governor, Jan Brewer, and GOP-led legislature said they could no longer afford. The state faces a projected $1 billion program deficit by July 2011.

They eliminated heart transplants for non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, lung transplants, pancreatic transplants, some bone marrow transplants, and liver transplants for patients infected with hepatitis C. Arizona also restricted coverage of prosthetics, eliminated podiatric services, preventive dental services, and wellness and physical exams for adult Medicaid enrollees.

A former University of Arizona Medical Center patient waiting for a new liver died on Dec. 28 -- the second person to die since the cuts went into effect, according to Dr. Rainer Gruessner, chairman of surgery at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson.

On Thursday, surgery department spokeswoman Jo Marie Gellerman confirmed that the patient, who died at another facility, "was our patient. He was on our list." She declined to identify the patient, citing medical confidentiality.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio