Pass the NIH Bill, You Selfish, Blind, Callous Ghouls!

by Jim Geraghty

This morning, CNN ’s Elizabeth Cohen offered a heart-wrenching report on a girl whose experimental treatment at the National Institute of Health was nearly canceled over the government shutdown.

Her treatment was authorized to continue this week, but another 200 or so patients, including about 30 children, face the same perilous circumstances.

The House passed a bill to fund the NIH.

The House of Representatives passed separate spending bills to fund the NIH, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia in a piecemeal approach to reopen some areas of government. The measures were likely to go nowhere as the White House insisted that the Republicans agree to fund the government without delaying or eliminating parts of the healthcare reform law.

“The president made clear to the leaders that he is not going to negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills Congress has already incurred,” said a White House summary of the meeting. “The president reinforced his view that the House should put the clean government funding bill that has been passed by the Senate up for a vote a bill that would pass a majority of the House with bipartisan support.”

This is not that complicated. If the Senate passes the bill and the president signs it, NIH reopens, and those patients get the potentially life-saving treatment they need. If they don’t pass it and sign it, they don’t. Everything else is politics and posturing.

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