President Bush recently signed into law the following health policy bills:
- S. 3560, the “QI Program Supplemental Funding Act,” which authorizes an additional $45 million for the Medicare Qualifying Individuals (QI) program, which helps certain low-income individuals pay their Medicare Part B premiums. The legislation also includes provisions to modify the patent protections applicable to antibiotics and clarify the ability of generic drug companies to gain approval of and market generic antibiotics. In addition, the bill expands education activities under the Medicaid Integrity Program (MIP) and extends funding for the Medicare Improvement Fund to make improvements under the original Medicare program.
- H.R. 6353, the “Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act,” which prohibits the sale of controlled substances over the Internet without a valid prescription and subjects on-line pharmacies to a series of new restrictions.
- H.R. 1343, the “Health Care Safety Net Act of 2008,” which reauthorizes the Department of Health and Human Services Health Centers, National Health Service Corps, Rural Health Care, State Loan Repayment, and Primary Dental Workforce programs.
- H.R. 6469, the “Stephanie Tubbs Jones Organ Transplant Authorization Act of 2008,” which authorizes an increase in funding for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
- S. 2932, which reauthorizes the poison center national toll-free number, provides grants for poison centers, and expands poison prevention education efforts.
- Several measures aimed at expanding disease research and information resources: H.R. 1157, which authorizes grants for the development and operation of research centers for the study of environmental factors that may be related to the etiology of breast cancer; H.R. 1532, which reauthorizes the Preventive Health Services Regarding Tuberculosis program; H.R. 5265, which promotes research into the causes and treatments of various forms of Muscular Dystrophy; S. 1810, to authorize the HHS Secretary to collect and disseminate information regarding Down syndrome or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed diseases and to coordinate the provision of support services for those who receive a diagnosis of one of those diseases; and S. 1382, which authorizes funding for the establishment of a national registry for the collection and storage of data on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).