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house Bill H.R. 2820

Does Congress Need to Reauthorize the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Donor Program?

Argument in favor

Bone marrow and cord blood stem cell donors help save lives. Letting the programs that organize their transplants to expire endangers the lives of those who depend on them to go about their lives.

Alis's Opinion
The US should be in the lead when it comes to medical research. We should not be allowing ideologues, motivated by outmoded religious dogma, to set national medical research policy. Do your jobs & pass this!!
Like (9)
wpeckham's Opinion
This should be a permanent and ongoing program, to be voted on or send it only when it no longer has value
Like (5)
Mary kay's Opinion
It needs to be expanded. We have just entered into this science and the possibilites of stem cell and bone marrow transplant therapies are endless!
Like (2)

Argument opposed

This program should either be made permanent, or the federal government should phase itself out of managing it and hand it over to states and the private sector.

Carol's Opinion
The least amount of control and interference by the government would help the program to work more efficiently.
Like (2)
resistor's Opinion
While I can certainly see the value of this organization, but the federal government should not be involved.
Like (2)
operaman's Opinion
Move this program to the states. If it's not part of the Federal Constitution, then it would fall to the states.
Like (1)

What is House Bill H.R. 2820?

This bill would reauthorize programs related to America’s bone marrow and cord blood donor registry that manages the inventory and use of stem cells in treating diseases. These programs make up an integrated, nationwide system for transplants of bone marrow and cord blood stem cells. They will expire on September 30, 2015 without this reauthorization. 

Cord blood stem cells are taken from adults, and along with transplanted bone marrow have been shown to treat diseases like leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and other genetic disorders.

Both programs would be extended through the 2020 fiscal year, and funded at a level of $23 million for each of those fiscal years.


People suffering from diseases that require treatment with bone marrow or adult stem cells, their families, agencies administering the inventory and transplant systems at the federal level, health care providers and their facilities.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2820

$220.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $220 million over the 2016-2020 period, or about $44 million per year.

More Information

In-Depth: Lead sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) believes:

“It is vitally important that this lifesaving program continue to receive our support. Therapies from the adult stem cells in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood are curing people each and every day.”

This bill was passed unanimously by House Energy and Commerce Committee, and has 14 Republican and six Democratic cosponsors.

Of Note: Boston Children’s Hospital calls adult stem cells “the body’s tool box,” and has detailed ongoing research into new ways that people suffering from diabetes or recovering from heart attacks could undergo treatments with their own stem cells.


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user lwpkommunikacio)


Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015

Official Title

To reauthorize the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • EnactedDecember 18th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed December 9th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed December 16th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 421 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJune 18th, 2015

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