Pediatricians to highlight shutdown's effects on children's health
By Elise Viebeck - 10/06/13 06:00 AM ET
Members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will break from their bi-annual meeting next week to call attention to the negative effects of the government shutdown.
Pediatricians, pediatric residents and medical students will come to Capitol Hill Monday to advocate for children's interests in the budget process and discuss the shutdown's impact on kids.
Pediatric patients received attention in the debate this week after news broke that the shutdown was forcing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to turn away new participants for clinical trials, including sick children.
The GOP-led House proceeded to pass a bill that would reopen the NIH. Democrats rejected the move as playing favorites and insisted Republicans allow a vote on a clean bill to reopen the government.
"This the greatest country in the world," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said Friday at a press conference. "The American people deserve better than a piecemeal approach on which health risk will be protected against."
The AAP did not directly endorse the GOP measure reopening the NIH in its announcement Friday.
Instead, the group listed "new clinical trials" as one in a long list of its priorities, which include a nutrition program for women and infants and public health activities at the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control.
"These programs are essential to the health and well-being of our nation’s children and families. Any suspension of their services scales back the reach of their impact and puts children and families at risk," said AAP President Thomas McInerny in a statement.