[W]hile researchers can take an extra year to complete their projects (without additional federal funds), any additional extensions will require prior NIH approval, and those requests will be considered only “in very limited circumstances,” the NIH said last week. That's because “the primary goals of all NIH Recovery Act awards are to create U.S. jobs and increase the tempo of biomedical research,” the advisory said.
The long lead time -- the full effects of reform won't be felt for almost a decade -- may explain investors' muted reaction. It may simply be too early to measure their sentiment.
Besides, they may have bigger things to worry about. Political leanings aside, the dark cloud looming over the market remains the $1.5 trillion budget deficit that so far the administration has done little to confront.
“We have heard from physicians all across the state that they had grave concerns over their abilities to remain in the TennCare program if the fees were cut another 7 percent in a time we are seeing more patients entering the program during these tough economic times,” said incoming TMA president B.W. Ruffner, MD, from Chattanooga. “We are thankful that we may all have a respite in order to keep the program sustained at least for the next 12 months without having to limit benefits or cut patients from the program,” said Dr. Ruffner. “It would not be possible without the solution offered by the hospitals in Tennessee and the additional stimulus funds available from the CMS.”