AcademyHealth appreciates the bipartisan effort from members of Congress to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2015, which demonstrates our elected officials’ recognition of the value in supporting critical health services research functions – namely preserving the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Although there is still work to be done to rectify the cuts made to AHRQ’s budget, the House and Senate invested in the improvement of our health care system by funding the agency with the sole purpose of producing evidence to make health care safer; of higher quality; more accessible, equitable and affordable; and to ensure that the evidence is understood and used.

AcademyHealth recognizes the challenges of limited funds and competing priorities in the current fiscal environment, and we are grateful for both parties’ leadership to move this bill—with enhanced reinvestment into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—forward.

Similarly, we know that this legislation would not have been possible without a few key champions, and we would like to thank them for their invaluable support:

Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), who offered an amendment to restore AHRQ funding during the markups of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) FY16 bill and penned an op-ed, “The Assault on Health Services Research,” which was published in The Hill.

  • Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT), Ranking Member on Labor-HHS Subcommittee, Nita Lowey (NY), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, Chaka Fattah (PA), and Barbara Lee (CA), who voted with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard on the amendments to restore AHRQ funding.

  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT), along with Sens. Sherrod Brown (OH), Al Franken (MN), Edward Markey (MA), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) who urged their Senate Colleagues to protect and preserve funding for AHRQ via a “Dear Colleague” letter.

  • House and Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee leaders including Reps. Tom Cole (OK) and Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Sens. Roy Blunt (MO) and Patty Murray (WA), who brokered the final appropriations legislation that ultimately saved AHRQ.

Just as we thank our champions, we ask that you do too. Particularly if you’re a constituent of one of these elected officials, please offer your gratitude for their support of AHRQ; because of them and the leadership of those who voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, AHRQ can continue in its mission and can fund and carry out the health services research that benefits us all.




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