Two bills, one in the House and the other in the Senate, seek to boost patient participation in clinical trials. The Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act, H.R. 2866, was introduced June 15, 2008 by Representatives Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla). A Senate bill, the Affordable Health Choices Act, was introduced June 9, 2009 by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass). Encouraging women to participate in clinical trials is one of several goals of this legislation.

Clinical Trials Act, H.R. 2866 is to provide for a disregard under the Supplemental Security Income program of compensation for participation in clinical trials for rare diseases or conditions.

The Affordable Health Choices Act bill aims to improve access to coverage by regulating insurers, expanding Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and building state-sponsored insurance Gateways (or exchanges) to help Americans find affordable coverage.