Eshoo Introduces American HEALS Act

April 3rd, 2014


Bill Would Reinvest in America’s Biomedical Research Initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the American HEALS (Helping Encourage Advancements in Lifesaving Science) Act¸ legislation to expand support for future research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. A companion bill was recently introduced in the Senate by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). With stagnant federal investment in biomedical research threatening the standing of the U.S. as a leader in discovery, innovation and global competitiveness, Rep. Eshoo believes that an investment in biomedical research is a critical investment in our nation’s future.

“Investment in biomedical research, including at the National Institutes of Health, is at unprecedented lows, jeopardizing our national health and preventing future breakthroughs,” Eshoo said. “More than half of basic research funding in the U.S. comes from the federal government, yet we spend two-thirds less on research and development than we did in 1965. A trust fund for our biomedical research agencies can reverse this dangerous trend and ensure that the United States is the leader in scientific discovery.”


In 2011, fifty-three percent of all funding for basic research came from the federal government, yet as a percentage of the total federal budget, the federal government spends two-thirds less on research and development today than it did in 1965. At NIH – the foremost biomedical research institute in the world – the number of research grants the agency is able to fund has declined every year over the past 10 years.

The American HEALS Act would reverse that trend by augmenting federal appropriations for biomedical research with a mandatory trust fund dedicated to steady growth in research conducted at NIH, CDC, DHP, and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. The bill would increase funding for each agency and program every year at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus five percent. This steady, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies.

Making a serious, sustained investment in federally-funded biomedical research is especially critical as countries around the world are placing a priority on their own research investments. Between 1999 and 2009, Asia’s share of worldwide research and development expenditures grew from 24 percent to 32 percent, while American expenditures fell from 38 percent to 31 percent. In the meantime, the European Union has committed to a five-year plan to boost biomedical research.

Rep. Eshoo was a leader in the effort to double the NIH’s budget in the 1990’s and supported the one-time infusion of $10 billion appropriated to the agency under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While these increases were critical investments in research and our economy, a sustained investment will ensure continuity of research, attract more young scientists through robust grant opportunities, and bring new treatments to millions of Americans who need it most.

A copy of the bill text can be found here.

The American HEALS Act is supported by: 

Stanford University
AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth and Families
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Association of Immunologists
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association
American Society of Transplantation (AST)
Arthritis Foundation
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
Digestive Disease National Coalition
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy
GBS/CIDP Foundation International
Interstitial Cystitis Association
Loyola University of Chicago
Lung Cancer Alliance
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
National Kidney Foundation
National Marfan Foundation
National Minority AIDS Council
National Rural Health Association
NephCure Foundation
Northwestern University
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Scleroderma Foundation
Society for Public Health Education
Spina Bifida Association
The AIDS Institute
The Endocrine Society
University Of Chicago
University Of Illinois


Get Updates from Anna

How Can Anna Help You?

In this section, you will find information on the many ways my office can help you and your family. Below is a list of the issues we commonly address. If you cannot find what you're looking for, please either email me or call my Palo Alto District Office and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have.

Anna's Voting Record

View All

Thomas Bill Search


RT @EnergyCommerce: WATCH LIVE: Oversight subcommittee hearing on the 340B drug pricing program →

October 11th, 2017


RT @NancyPelosi: Dismantling the #CleanPowerPlan is an assault on our sacred obligation to preserve God’s creation for the future. https://…

October 10th, 2017


@POTUS Shame on the President for this dangerous rule that sets our country backward and limits a woman's right to…

October 6th, 2017


@POTUS 62 million women have benefited from birth control coverage & rate of unintended pregnancies and abortion is…


Since his first day in office, @POTUS and Republicans have relentlessly attacked the reproductive rights & access t…


RT @SantaClaraUniv: Yesterday Fr. Engh met w/ local reps to discuss issues central to our SCU mission at the @jesuitcolleges Congressional…

Text SizeA A A