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In this country, we have some of the most talented medical researchers in the world working tirelessly to investigate the diseases, cancers, and other health issues affecting countless Americans and their families. The work of these researchers and their programs drives health care innovation, and offers hope to many patients and their families seeking treatment or a cure.

With this in mind, many folks in Iowa and across the country will be pleased to learn the House recently passed the 21st Century Cures Act, trailblazing health care and research legislation aimed to improve the way we treat and cure diseases. This was bipartisan legislation I supported and voted for, to improve the lives of patients and their families.

The 21st Century Cures Act cuts red tape, addresses harmful rules and regulations, and works to speed up the development of new drugs and devices. Everyone should have access to effective treatments and cures, and this legislation helps to remove barriers getting in the way of innovation Americans need to combat health risks and diseases.

This legislation also includes important mental health care reforms, providing for improvements in how we treat the mental health care issues so many Americans face. With approximately 43.8 million Americans experiencing some type of mental illness each year, these improvements will put evidence-based care at the forefront of treatment options, to modernize our mental health care system in a significant, positive way.

Notably, this important legislation addresses health care improvements in a commonsense, fiscally responsible way. Any new funding in the 21st Century Cures Act will be fully offset, and annually reviewed, to increase accountability for hardworking American taxpayers, while benefiting researchers, doctors, patients and their families.

I’m pleased to have supported this important legislation, for our families in Iowa and in communities across the country. This is an important step for patients and their loved ones suffering from disease. After all, improving access to effective, affordable health care treatment is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is a bipartisan issue, and improvements to ensure our loved ones have the best possible care and treatments is something we can all support.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of numerous legislators on both sides of the political aisle, this legislation next heads to the Senate, where I am hopeful it will be quickly acted upon and approved. From there, this legislation will head to the president’s desk, where it can be signed into law.

With the 21st Century Cures Act, together we can work towards breakthroughs for patients and their families and bring medical innovation into the 21st century.

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