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Fact or fiction? House bill funds pain awareness

Pain research would get a boost from the House health care bill. fact-checks this claim — and more.

Claim: Pain research would get a boost from the House health care bill.

The debate over the Democrats health care reform bill has focused mainly on how to expand insurance coverage and change the private insurance marketplace. But it's not just insurance that's in the insurance reform bill. Topics addressed in the bill range widely from diabetes among urban Indians to research on "neglected parasitic diseases" such as "Chagas disease, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis, the soil-transmitted helminths, and others." The opportunity to pass comprehensive legislation won't likely come again very soon which may explain why the House leadership chose to include many topics in the bill.

Fact or fiction?
Fact. The House bill would give the Secretary of Health and Human Services $1 million to convene a Conference on Pain. The purpose of the event would be to examine the diagnosis and treatment of pain in the U.S. population, and in demographic groups "that may be disproportionately affected by inadequacies in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of pain." The bill would also create an Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee to synchronize all federal research on pain. In addition it would spend $10 million on "a national pain care education outreach and awareness campaign." The federal government already funds pain research. A search for the term "pain relief" in the National Institutes of Health grants database finds that for fiscal years 2007 through 2010, the NIH has funded 69 grants totaling more than $19 million.

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