California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Ripple Effects Continue

While California officials are working on building the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine authorized by the passage of Proposition 71, politicians in other states are considering, reconsidering and pushing for their own public funding. Here is a small sample of current activity around the US:


State funding for embryonic stem cell research could reach $10 million to $20 million, if Gov. M. Jodi Rell has her way. Rell wants to use state money to create a fund to help spur research institutions to finance studies in Connecticut. The governor wants to target biomedical research companies, universities and pharmaceutical firms. The fund would be "seed money" to match these interested parties.


State Comptroller Dan Hynes proposes a $1 billion bond issue over 10 years to fund the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute, which would distribute loans and grants to universities and medical research facilities in Illinois. The funds would pay for research involving embryonic, adult and cord blood stem cells. The effort is modeled on one in California, where $3 billion in public funding for stem-cell research will be set aside.

To pay for the bonds, Hynes has proposed a tax on elective cosmetic surgery, such as "tummy tucks," face-lifts and botox injections. A 6 percent tax would generate $15 million the first year if voters approve the plan in a statewide referendum in November 2006.


Under a plan proposed by state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, Minnesotans' tax dollars could soon be used to pay for stem cell research at the University. Kahn said she plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would allow state money to pay for the University's stem cell research, including work on embryonic stem cells. The bill, co-authored by Kahn and several other Democratic representatives, is largely similar to the one she introduced last year.


Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison says Texas needs to pursue stem-cell research, and state leaders should work with Governor Rick Perry and the Legislature to develop a policy on stem-cell research. Hutchinson says it's necessary to keep the state from being -- quote -- "left in the dust by California.", referring to a landmark three billion dollar initiative to fund stem-cell research passed by California voters in November.

Leaving aside my opinions regarding the ultimately destructive nature of public funding (and the taxes and wasteful processes it requires), I would just like to point out that competition is a marvelous thing. Competition is the alchemy though which the basest of human motives are converted into shining towers of accomplishment.


I have a 56 year old brother who is dying from ALS. He has asked me to write on his behalf. He is a Vietnam veteran,who never married. He has no children or dependants. We would be very interested in any experimental testing that is being done. We believe that this is his only hope for survival. If you could help in any way it would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Sherri McPherson at December 22nd, 2004 10:55 AM

Please read my suggestions on researching the latest therapies with an eye to participating in trials:

I hope that you will find it useful.

Some very experimental stem cell therapies for ALS and similar conditions - with nothing more than anecdotal support for results - are being performed in China at the moment, but not as a part of a controlled medical trial. This article gives some names and places to start investigating this and other potential (and more mainstream) sources of treatments.

As for all matters of health, do your research and make most informed decision you can.

Posted by: Reason at December 22nd, 2004 4:21 PM

What's wrong with public funding?

Posted by: Jay at December 26th, 2004 11:55 AM

I'll try to keep it brief; I'm libertarian in the minarchist/anarcho-capitalist sense, if that helps pin my opinions on such matters.

- public funding is obtained via taxes: through threat of force from people who actually earned it, or more indirectly by diluting the money supply. Both are bad.

- the process of assigning, fighting over and redistributing the loot that is public funding is enormously wasteful and inefficient.

- the lack of competition in public spending ensures that these funds will always be spent inefficiently and corruptly.

- taxation drastically reduces the growth and potential in any given industry

So in essence, three arguments - one moral (it's never good to take and redistribute resources by force), two consequential (that public funding is much less efficient than all the obvious alternatives in a free society, and that it damages economic and scientic growth more than it helps).

See, however, my comments on pragmatism and living as a pro-life-extension libertarian in a social democracy:

Posted by: Reason at December 26th, 2004 12:24 PM

What method regenerates ligaments,stem cells,growth factors,or regenerative therapy? Also, where can I get the treatment?

Posted by: Carole at March 3rd, 2005 11:00 AM

See my first comment in this thread for a link to notes on researching new therapies and how to participate in trials - I'm not familiar with the status of work on ligaments, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Reason at March 3rd, 2005 11:07 AM

Public funding is something that belongs to nobody until it's given to anybody. And then it starts working for those who got it and those who gave it. I may not write clear enough but very often people who posses the right to fund do not understand the matter and give money to those who give the best "offer".

Posted by: Gwen at January 25th, 2006 9:00 AM
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