Medical Budget Spending Essay Research Paper Providing

Medical Budget Spending Essay, Research Paper Providing Cancer Clinical Trials for Medicare Beneficiaries Less than three percent of cancer patients participate in clinical

Medical Budget Spending Essay, Research Paper

Providing Cancer Clinical Trials for Medicare Beneficiaries

Less than three percent of cancer patients participate in clinical

trials of new therapies. Many scientists believe that higher

participation could lead to the faster development of therapies for more

of those in need.

Moreover, the elderly, who are most likely to get cancer, often

cannot participate in such trials because Medicare does not pay for such

treatments until they are established as standard therapies. Americans

over 65 make up half of all cancer patients, and are 10 times more

likely to get cancer than younger Americans.

The budget would give more Americans access to these cutting-edge

treatments and encourage higher participation in clinical trials by

establishing a three-year, $750 million demonstration program,

specifically for Medicare beneficiaries, to cover the patient care costs

for those who participate in certain federally-sponsored cancer clinical

trials. Although the Health Care Financing Administration (which

administers Medicare) would run the demonstration, it would be funded by

specified receipts from national tobacco legislation and, thus, would

not draw upon Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) or Supplementary

Medical Insurance (SMI) trust funds. The proposal includes an evaluation

after three years to consider whether to expand the demonstration.

Aid for the territories: The budget proposes $153 million in

increased funding under CHIP for Puerto Rico and the other

four territories, fulfilling the President’s promise to

provide more equitable funding for children’s health care in

the insular areas.

Health insurance for legal immigrant children: The budget

would give States the option to provide health coverage to

legal immigrant children under Medicaid and CHIP. Currently,

States can provide health coverage to legal immigrant children

who entered the country before the 1996 welfare reform law was

enacted. But immigrant children who entered after the law was

enacted cannot get benefits for five years. Under this

proposal, States could provide coverage to immigrant children

through Medicaid or through their current CHIP allotment.

Increasing Biomedical Research: Progress in biomedical research has

ensured that many diseases that Americans faced a generation ago can now

be prevented or treated. Smallpox has been eradicated from the world and

polio is gone from the Western Hemisphere. Surgical procedures, such as

organ transplants or cardiac pacemakers, can restore normal lives for

those who once had few treatment options.

The scientific community is now poised to make even more advances

that, with sufficient investment, could dramatically alter and improve

the way we treat diseases. Several new technologies in medical research

show great promise. Specifically, important strides in imaging

technologies make it possible to visualize living cells and entire

organs, providing new insights into the structure of disease; computer-

based systems give scientists new tools to rapidly analyze vast amounts

of new data; and the scientific community stands on the cusp of a host

of breakthroughs in genetics that will enable scientists to map the

entire human genome and revolutionize how we understand, treat, and

prevent some of our most devastating diseases.

The budget proposes an unprecedented commitment in biomedical

research that will lay the foundation for new innovations to improve

health and prevent disease. It invests $1.15 billion in the National

Institutes of Health (NIH)–the largest increase in history. Moreover,

to ensure that the Nation continues to make important investments in

biomedical research, the budget proposes–for the first time ever–

sustained increases in the NIH over five years. By the year 2003,

funding for biomedical research will increase to over $20 billion, or by nearly half.