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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Background and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research

Background and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research

Date: October 26, 2004
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Description: This report discusses issues regarding stem cell research. With certain restrictions, the President has announced that federal funds may be used to conduct research on human embryonic stem cells. Federal research is limited to "the more than 60" existing stem cell lines that were derived (1) with the informed consent of the donors; (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes; and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors. No federal funds will be used for the derivation or use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos; the creation of any human embryos for research purposes; or cloning of human embryos for any purposes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research

Date: December 13, 2004
Creator: Johnson, Judith A. & Williams, Erin
Description: This report provides background on the research and potential applications of research that uses embryonic and adult stem cells. It also provides information about the current federal and state regulatory landscape, related Congressional and international actions, and relevant ethical concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

Date: December 6, 2004
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer; Chaikind, Hinda; Tilson, Sibyl; Boulanger, Jennifer & Morgan, Paulette
Description: This report examines the the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which creates a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries and establishes a new Medicare Advantage program to replace the current Medicare+Choice program.
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Pandemic Flu and Medical Biodefense Countermeasure Liability Limitation

Pandemic Flu and Medical Biodefense Countermeasure Liability Limitation

Date: December 5, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: This report analyzes Division C of the Department of Defense Emergency Supplemental Appropriations, P.L. 109-148, which was signed into law on December 30, 2005, and which limits liability with respect to pandemic flu and other public health countermeasures.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals: Estimates of Aged Beneficiaries Who Fall Below Income Criteria, by State

Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals: Estimates of Aged Beneficiaries Who Fall Below Income Criteria, by State

Date: February 11, 2003
Creator: Peterson, Chris L. & Morgan, Paulette C.
Description: This report discusses bills related to Medicare benefits, which include additional assistance for low-income beneficiaries. The assistance would have been in the form of reduced, subsidized or eliminated premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing. Proposals in the 108th Congress will probably also include some of these features for low-income beneficiaries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress

U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress

Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji & Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Description: This report will provide an account of global H5N1-related human infections and deaths, outline U.S. government and international responses to the global spread of H5N1, discuss situations in various countries affected by H5N1, and present some foreign policy issues for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Veterans' Health Care Issues in the 109th Congress

Veterans' Health Care Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: June 27, 2005
Creator: Panangala, Sidath V.
Description: This report provides an overview of major issues facing veterans' health care during the 109th Congress. The report's primary focus is on veterans and not military retirees.
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Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research

Date: August 13, 2004
Creator: Johnson, Judith A. & Williams, Erin
Description: This report provides background on the research and potential applications of research that uses embryonic and adult stem cells. It also provides information about the current federal and state regulatory landscape, related Congressional and international actions, and relevant ethical concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: H.R. 5, 109th Congress

Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: H.R. 5, 109th Congress

Date: January 18, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: This report discusses H.R. 5, which would preempt state law regarding some aspects of medical malpractice liability and liability for defective medical products, including drugs. The legislation would among other things, place caps on noneconomic and punitive damages (in states that have not enacted and do not enact caps), eliminate joint and several liability, modify the collateral source rule, limit lawyers' contingent fees, enact a federal statute of limitations, and provide for periodic payment of future damages.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Human Cloning

Human Cloning

Date: July 20, 2006
Creator: Johnson, Judith A. & Williams, Erin D.
Description: This report discusses human cloning science and federal policy regarding human embryo research. It provides background on the topic, federal policies, state laws, Congressional actions, and ethical issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care Services: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care Services: Questions and Answers

Date: January 26, 2005
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report attempts to answer basic questions about the Military Health Services System (MHSS), its beneficiary population, the medical services it provides, its costs, and major changes that are underway or have been proposed. Citations are made to more detailed CRS studies where appropriate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation

Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation

Date: June 13, 2003
Creator: Thaul, Susan
Description: This report discusses the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, which provides for compensation of individuals injured by vaccinations given as part of a countermeasure plan declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in preparation for potential hostile activities involving the smallpox virus.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Patient Safety: Legislation to Promote Voluntary Reporting of Medical Errors

Patient Safety: Legislation to Promote Voluntary Reporting of Medical Errors

Date: November 26, 2003
Creator: Redhead, C. S.
Description: This report provides an overview and some analysis of the patient safety legislation that is being considered by the 108th Congress. It begins with background information on the nature and causes of medical errors, followed by a brief comparison of the differences between mandatory and voluntary reporting systems. The report then discusses some of the legal and policy issues facing state mandatory reporting systems and major national voluntary reporting systems, and identifies design features of effective reporting programs. It concludes with a discussion and side-by-side comparison of H.R. 663 and S. 720.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues

Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues

Date: August 16, 2007
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report examines the role that intellectual property rights play in affecting the availability of a patented drug such as Tamiflu during public health crises. The report also explains one legal mechanism for increasing a patented drug’s production without the patent holder’s consent: governments may abrogate a pharmaceutical company’s patent rights by issuing compulsory licenses to other drug companies to manufacture generic versions of the drug.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FDA’s Authority to Ensure That Drugs Prescribed to Children Are Safe and Effective

FDA’s Authority to Ensure That Drugs Prescribed to Children Are Safe and Effective

Date: December 2, 2008
Creator: Thaul, Susan
Description: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for adult use many drugs never tested in children. Yet clinicians often prescribe them for children believing that the safety and effectiveness demonstrated with adults probably reasonably transfers to younger patients. The data show that this is not always true. To encourage industry to develop drugs and medical devices for pediatric use, Congress has established three programs. The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA, P.L. 110-85) reauthorized and strengthened two laws addressing drugs—the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) of 2002 and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) of 2003—and enacted a new law addressing devices—the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act (PMDSIA) of 2007. The historical approach of this report allows an understanding of how and why Congress took these steps.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Rule

Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Rule

Date: February 4, 2005
Creator: Redhead, C. S.
Description: This report discuses the HIPAA privacy rule, which gives patients the right of access to their medical information and prohibits health plans and health care providers from using or disclosing individually identifiable health information without a patient’s written authorization except as expressly permitted or required by the rule.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: February 7, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Porter, Donna V.
Description: Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Genetic Exceptionalism: Genetic Information and Public Policy

Genetic Exceptionalism: Genetic Information and Public Policy

Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: Sarata, Amanda K.
Description: This report provides an overview of the nature of genetic information and its implications for individuals, family, and society. Individuals utilize genetic information to guide health care and other decisions, when possible, and may experience anxiety as a result of genetic test results. Genetic test results for an individual may often be informative for other close family members and thus influence their care decisions. Society must grapple with the effect genetic information may have on our conception of disease, as well as its impact on issues like privacy and equity. The report ends by summarizing the main policy issues involved with a genetic exceptionalist approach to public policy, including defining genetic information; physically separating genetic information from other medical information; unintended disparities between “genetic” and “nongenetic” disease; and the effect of legislation on participation in genetic research, on uptake of genetic technology and on the delivery of high quality health care.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Health Care: The Issue of “Promised” Benefits

Military Health Care: The Issue of “Promised” Benefits

Date: February 10, 2000
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Description: In the debate over the Department of Defense policy on military health care benefits, many military personnel and retirees say that they were promised “free health care for life” when they entered the armed forces. What benefits are available and who is eligible to receive these benefits are matters determined by Congress. This report discusses the issue of “promises” of lifetime health care benefits made to military retirees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: October 31, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: This report answers several frequently-asked questions about military health care, particularly related to TRICARE and its various aspects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) "Swine Flu" Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) "Swine Flu" Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

Date: May 26, 2008
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries, and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Former NFL Players: Disabilities, Benefits, and Related Issues

Former NFL Players: Disabilities, Benefits, and Related Issues

Date: April 8, 2008
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine
Description: This report discusses professional football players' injuries and health conditions that might have long-term consequences for their health.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: August 4, 2008
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report answers several frequently-asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE (the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu" Outbreak: An Overview

The 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu" Outbreak: An Overview

Date: April 30, 2009
Creator: Lister, Sarah A. & Redhead, C. S.
Description: This report provides an introduction to the situation regarding the potential of a global human influenza pandemic caused by the new H1N1 flu strain. It includes a brief chronology of events; a discussion of key actions taken and authorities invoked by the WHO and the U.S. government; and information about key U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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