New Dems Introduce Bill Empowering Doctors, Nurses to Make the Best Patient Care Decisions

May 19, 2009
Press Release

Washington D.C. - Today, the New Democrat Coalition unveiled legislation to empower doctors, nurses and other health care providers to make the best decisions for their patients by increasing access to quality research on effective practices. The Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Act of 2009, was introduced by Representative Kurt Schrader (OR-5), a freshmen Member of the Coalition, who was joined by 11 members of the New Dems, including the Coalition's leadership.

Building on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which allocated $1.1 billion to researching best health care practices, this bill will extend the obligation past the two year period that was included in the Recovery Act.  Ultimately, the information provided by this research will help to lower health care costs by reducing the instances of redundant and ineffective treatments.

"In the 21st century, good information is critical to making the best medical assessments," said Representative Schrader (OR-5), Freshman New Dem Coalition Member. "Deciding between health care options is one of the most personal decisions an individual can make. This bill will empower doctors, nurses and patients with the facts necessary to make those difficult choices."

"Health care reform is a priority for our nation and empowering our medical providers with the tools to make the best choices for their patients is a key part of that reform," said Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY-07).  "The status quo in American health care is simply unacceptable.  New Dems are working with their colleagues and the Obama Administration to reduce cost, preserve choice, and expand coverage - goals we can all agree are the best for individuals, families and the business community. I applaud one of our newest New Dems, Rep. Schrader, for taking leadership on this issue and for making sure our doctors, nurses and other medical providers have the best information to make the best decisions for their patients."

Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), New Democrat Coalition Vice Chair and Co-Chair of the Health Care Task Force said, "As New Dems, we recognize the importance of comparative effectiveness research on new and existing medical procedures, drugs, and devices. This information empowers doctors and all health practitioners to offer the evidence-based advice and care to patients by providing the very best, up-to-date information that doctors and patients can use to make decisions for a patient's individual health care needs."

"Giving our nation's health care professionals as well as patients access to health research and information will help ensure each individual patient receives the most effective health treatments possible," said Representative Ron Kind (WI-3), New Democrat Coalition Vice-Chair.  "This bill is essential for our ability to provide quality health care at a price all Americans can afford."

The bill would:

  • Research, evaluate and compare the implications and outcomes of two or more health care strategies to address a particular medical condition.
  • Establish a non-government institute responsible for managing and guiding health research programs. The institute will be governed by a board that would include representatives from HHS, NIH, CMS, VA, DOD, physicians, patients, state health agencies, insurance, industry, researchers and other experts.
  • Require that the institute identify priorities for research, collect data on health care treatments, establish a methodology for the research and disseminate the findings to ensure doctors and patients throughout the country have access to the information.
  • Establish a trust fund in the Treasury by amending the Internal Revenue Code.


The New Democrat Coalition, always leaders on the economy and innovation, is committed to enacting policies that maintain U.S. competitiveness, meet the challenges posed by globalization in the 21st Century and strengthen our national security. The New Dem Coalition is dedicated to providing the leadership necessary to implement policies that will ensure that America maintains its prosperity and global leadership.