Ross Votes to Promote Medical Innovation and Mental Health Support
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 30, 2016 – U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, made the following statement after voting to pass the 21st Century Cures Act:
“I was happy to unite with my colleagues in passing the 21st Century Cures Act so we can start expediting the discovery, development and delivery of new medical treatments and cures for Americans. This legislation promotes innovation in technology, provides resources to combat the growing opioid epidemic, ensures critical support for those struggling with mental health problems, and supports cutting-edge research. This measure also includes several important bipartisan bills and priorities that do not add to the deficit.
“There are 10,000 known diseases, but we only have cures and treatments for 500 of them. 21st Century Cures will help patients suffering from those diseases by streamlining and improving the FDA’s review of life-saving drugs for patients, modernizing clinical trials and removing regulatory uncertainty for the development of new medical apps, and supporting and investing in the next generation of scientists.
“One fundamental measure included in today’s passage was the language of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which originally passed the House in July by a vote of 422-2. I proudly co-sponsored this bill because we must do something to help the nearly 10 million Americans suffering from serious mental illnesses. I have a growing concern over the number of individuals afflicted with such illnesses, resulting in outcomes of great consequence, such as homelessness and increased crime and suicide rates. This package represents the most significant reforms to our mental health system in more than a decade. Not only will this bill strengthen our nation’s mental health workforce, it will also help the millions of adults and children going without treatment for their illnesses as their families struggle to find a cure for their loved ones.
“This bill further provides $1 billion over 2 years for grants to states to supplement opioid abuse prevention and treatment activities, including improving prescription drug monitoring programs, implementing prevention activities, training for health care providers, and expanding access to opioid treatment programs. I encourage the Senate to swiftly pass this Act so we can move forward on providing much-needed, innovative care to those in need.”