Future Forum Unveils Innovative Ideas to Improve Health Care
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), the founder and chairman of Future Forum, and other members of that group on Thursday unveiled a policy paper entitled “Cures in Our Lifetime” – a plan for harnessing technology, funding and innovation to save American lives.
Future Forum, founded in April 2015, is a group of 27 young House Democrats focused upon listening to and acting upon the needs of millennials – America’s largest, most-diverse, and best-educated generation. Swalwell, incoming Chairwoman Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and other Future Forum members have visited with millennials in almost 50 U.S. cities to hear their concerns.
“Cures in Our Lifetime” is a product of that listening tour; an earlier paper, “Future For Us: Higher Ed,” was released last year.
“We need a 21st-century health system that uses technology and millennial-driven innovation to cure diseases, not just treat symptoms,” Swalwell said. “That means steady and substantial funding, as well as increasing diversity and opportunity in the medical community. A commitment and investment now could save millions of lives in the decades to come.”
“Our health care infrastructure is long overdue for modernization so that American families can access better care at a lower cost,” Murphy said. “Young Americans are driving innovation in the medical field that will make it possible for us to provide a better quality of life for millions of Americans, prevent diseases, and develop life-saving cures. Future Forum members, including myself, represent communities that are leaders in health care innovation and we will keep working to replicate that success across the country.”
Priorities outlined in “Cures in Our Lifetime” include increased use of genomic and genetic testing to further the emerging field of precision medicine – the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions, treatments, practices, or products tailored to the individual patient – and to cut health care costs by allowing better diagnoses and consideration of preventive measures.
Other priorities described in the Future Forum paper include continuing to provide strong funding for the National Institutes of Health and its Innovation Fund; providing the Food and Drug Administration with adequate resources and staff to be as agile as the industries it regulates; updating regulations and data security for digital health apps; improving medical data sharing for research without compromising patient privacy; and improving research lab infrastructure.
Finally, the report calls for improving gender, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and generational diversity among medical professionals and researchers – in part by curbing the crushing burden of student loan debt – and among patients taking part in clinical research trials, especially those with rare diseases.
Click here to read the full text of “Cures in Our Lifetime.”