WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) voted in support of the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation that provides additional critical resources to support medical research and includes important reforms that will help patients and their families access new and innovative medicines and devices more quickly.  

The 21st Century Cures Act also authorizes funding for states to address the ongoing opioid crisis across the country as well as a number of mental health reforms similar to the Mental Health Reform Act, which Senator Ernst cosponsored in the United States Senate. Importantly, these reforms will help strengthen and improve access to community based mental health services and also equip local law enforcement with added training and resources to help in responding to mental health crises.

“Increasing our investment in medical research will have a significant impact in addressing complex health care conditions and improving the lives of millions,” said Senator Ernst. “With this additional support for the important work at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, there is more hope to find cures, improve treatments, and better understand the diseases impacting our nation and the world.”

“Moreover, the 21st Century Cures Act addresses the need to improve access to mental health and substance use disorder services. By promoting more strategic planning among federal programs and improving grant programs that provide community based services, this legislation will help ensure folks can get the care they need.”

The 21st Century Cures Act also contains an extension of the rural hospital demonstration program and provides regulatory relief for critical access hospitals; both of which the Iowa Senator has been actively engaged on and are important in ensuring Iowans in rural areas have access to needed health care. It also provides temporary relief for medical suppliers from Medicare reimbursement cuts.

Senator Ernst added, “This comprehensive and bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act puts patients and their families first. I am proud to support of this legislation and encourage the president to quickly sign it into law.”

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