Desperately Seeking Bipartisanship
Patients are pressing for more opportunity to shape the government's medical R&D policy – and the effort is getting a boost from the Institute's FasterCures group, both on Capitol Hill and off. Comments and proposals from FasterCures have been influential in the draft language of 21st Century Cures, the comprehensive assessment of R&D methods and priorities in the House, as well as in the recent "Innovation for Healthier Americans" report in the Senate. FasterCures works with patient organizations across the country, along with both sides of the aisle in Congress. For instance, Fred Upton, the Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Diana Degette, the ranking Democrat, who are pushing through the 21st Century Cures initiative, shared a platform at our Partnering for Cures meeting in New York last year. Like the Institute, they're trying to make a difference in a hyper-partisan environment.
"Cities that can create jobs and attract human capital are the most vibrant cities in the long haul," noted Chief Research Officer Ross DeVol, on the occasion of the release of the 15th edition of the Institute's closely watched Best Performing Cities index. This year's top town? For the first time, it's San Francisco, which has been borne aloft by its prowess in technology. Three other tech-heavy towns, Austin, Provo and San Jose, also made the top five.
At an event in San Francisco unveiling the index, Mayor Edwin Lee cautioned that "the talent we've attracted will not stay here unless San Francisco remains an innovative, diverse city." But Hizzoner also promised, "We're going to make sure that the residents benefit from our booming city, and we're showing that you can have a booming city and social commitment." The full report – along with the data detailing how your city ranks and why – can be found at best-cities.org.
As the rankings of San Francisco and San Jose show, rumors of the hostility of California toward business have been greatly exaggerated. But there's no doubt that the state's regulatory environment can be a tough slog. Kern County, for its part, has been playing against type, pioneering a streamlined planning and permitting process that is fueling job growth well above the averages for both California and the nation. In a recent report, "An Economic Road Map for Kern County," Institute economists delved into what's worked for Kern, and how it can best continue its growth trajectory. Check it out on the Institute's website, milkeninstitute.org.