Healthcare Roundup—Trump signs public health bills; NIH’s Collins under fire over fetal tissue research

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President Donald Trump signed into law two bills that would extend public health research programs, plus more healthcare headlines. (Pixabay)

Trump signs 2 public health bills into law 

President Donald Trump has signed two public health bills into law that will fund research projects. 

One bipartisan bill, spearheaded by Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, focuses on sickle cell anemia research and disease prevention. It reauthorizes an existing $5 million per year research project for the next five years. 

The second reauthorizes a research program aimed at preterm births, which is operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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“This bill signed into law last night represent another step in the right direction in improving maternal health outcomes and making meaningful strides to guaranteeing patients with complex blood disorders receive the quality care and treatment they deserve,” Reps. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, and Michael Burgess, R-Texas, said in a statement. (Announcement

NIH’s Collins under fire from anti-abortion groups for defending fetal tissue research 

Two anti-abortion groups have called for National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins’ ouster after he said he supports fetal tissue research. 

Collins, M.D., said that fetal tissue research can be done “with an ethical framework” and can lead to significant scientific benefits. Following the comments last week, March for Life and Live Action are calling for him to step down. 

The Trump administration is reviewing fetal tissue research, and Collins said the review will “assure the skeptics” of its benefits. The anti-abortion groups argue this taints the review. (Politico

GWU Hospital says it will re-enter negotiations to operate new D.C. hospital 

George Washington University Hospital said Wednesday that it plans to resume discussion with District of Columbia officials to operate a new hospital in the city.

GW had originally agreed to become the operator of a hospital the city planned to build on the southeast side of the city. However, the hospital—part of Universal Health Services—pulled out of the talks initially when the city’s council began entertaining amendments that would require Howard University’s medical school to have an affiliation with the new hospital or another facility and embrace an employee union. 

A less restrictive version of the plan was passed by the D.C. Council Tuesday night. Officials also waived a certificate of need process for the planned southeast hospital as well as a hospital tower GWU Hospital plans to build at its Foggy Bottom campus. 

GWU Hospital said it was “encouraged” by the revised bill. (Washington Business Journal

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