Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CIRM Backs Public Option in Health Care Reform

The board of the California stem cell agency has endorsed a public option as part of the national health care insurance reform effort, a move that a backer said would help with affordable access to any stem cell therapies developed with taxpayer funds.

The board took the position last week on a motion by director Jeff Sheehy, a communications manager for UC San Francisco. He sits on the board as a patient advocate. Sheehy said,
"It's a way to keep private insurance companies honest and is essential to holding down costs in insurance."
The action was praised by John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica, Ca. In an item on his organization's blog, he said,
“I certainly haven't agreed with everything the ICOC has done, but they sure got this one right. Let's just hope they expend as much effort making this action known in Washington, D.C., as has gone into touting their biotech-friendly, anti-consumer position on biosimilar drug legislation.”
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