CAMI Co-Chairs Gephardt & Leavitt : President’s Council On Jobs & Competitiveness a ‘Major Step Forward’ For America’s Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 21, 2011) – Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt and Former Utah Governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, both co-chairs of the Council for American Medical Innovation (CAMI), released the following statement in response to the formation of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness:

“This is exactly the type of public-private collaboration that is needed in the near-term to create jobs and grow our economy. Regardless of how one analyzes our nation’s economic situation, it’s clear that job growth is essential, that innovation is the key to job growth, and that America’s innovation leadership is very much at risk. The only path forward is one that brings together the best thinking of public and private sector leaders in a truly collaborative partnership and dialogue. The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is a major step forward for our economy at a time when we simply cannot afford anything less.

“As the new Council gets to work, nowhere is there a better opportunity to create jobs and drive growth than medical innovation. Today, America’s biomedical sector is virtually recession-proof, providing in many states astounding job growth. However, with the rest of the world quickly catching up, we are in turn losing valuable ground by staying in the exact same place.

“Bi-partisan public policies such as making the R&D tax credit permanent, investing in early science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and supporting research that will one day lead to a cure for cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS or Alzheimer’s are all consistent with today’s announcement. Stated simply, they will contribute greatly to America’s long-term health while helping to guarantee a sustained economic recovery.

“It’s now up to both political parties to rally behind a pro-growth innovation agenda — with biosciences working in close partnership. We encourage the administration to include a member from the biomedical community on the Council, and look forward to sharing our ideas with Jeff Immelt and his colleagues on the role that medical innovation can play in rebuilding and strengthening America’s economy – now and in the future.”

About the Council for American Medical Innovation

The United States faces serious challenges to maintaining its leadership position in innovation. The Council for American Medical Innovation is bringing together leaders in research, medicine, public health, academia, education, labor, and business, who are working in partnership toward a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation. American medical innovators create millions of high-paying jobs, and their discoveries are integral in the fight to cure cancer and other illnesses. The Council for American Medical Innovation views leadership in medical innovation as a key part of America’s economic recovery, future prosperity and health.

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