Posted by: Audrey Erbes | November 18, 2017

Latest Tax Bill Hurts Most Americans

Tax Cut Plan Hurts Seniors  Especially Heavily

All this latest giant tax cut bill (not a tax reform bill) does is place more cash in the pockets of large corporations and billionaires who won’t spend it in the economy but rather buy back stock and increase executive pay or place funds in off shore accounts where it won’t be taxed. Today when a meeting of CEOs was asked if they would pass on extra income to new workers or increased wages showed no enthusiasm to do so. Cutting out the middle man and placing the money directly in the hands of hard-working Americans would truly increase the economy because they would spend it in the economy quickly.

Unfortunately, this big tax cut to corporations and the top wealthiest Americans will come at the cost of older Americans, the poor and middle class. A tax hike is the last thing seniors need because they are already struggling with high health costs. The millions of taxpayers who deduct high health care expenses from their taxes face a tax increase – potentially costing the oldest and sickest Americans thousands of dollars each year.

“Why big CEOs love the GOP tax plan

The Republican tax plan offers multiple benefits to Cohn’s “big CEOs”:

  • It reduces the corporate income tax rate, which boosts corporate profits and therefore share prices. Since most CEOs’ compensation is linked to share price performance, that means CEOs benefit directly.
  • It lets companies take cash that’s been stashed tax-free in foreign subsidiaries and use it for dividends or buybacks that also boost share prices.
  • The changes to the rate structure mean that very high-income people will pay lower income taxes.
  • Repealing the estate tax helps you if you manage to amass an $11 million fortune, which big CEOs tend to do but family farmers don’t.

None of this, however, helps a normal person. But Cohn has an answer: The money will trickle down.” Source: Gary Cohn explains the GOP tax plan: “The most excited group out there are big CEOs” “We see the whole trickle-down through the economy, and that’s good for the economy.”Updated by Matthew  Nov 9, 2017, 11:00am EST Find at

Eliminating the health care mandate as part of this tax bill might make the bill less attractive to Republicans who remember the brutal backlash when they tried to kill Obamacare not so long ago. This addition at the last minute has raised interest on part of the resistance that was so effective since the election.

Bay Area Life Science Events Week of Nov. 19, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Nov. 21, 2017, Vacation for Thanksgiving- No meeting today- Next Meeting is Nov. 28
  • PBSS, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, Event: “Workshop Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs): Fundamentals Regulatory Trends and Best Practices,” Speaker: Lisa Helmonds, Vice President, MWA Consulting, Inc.

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through April 2018 with Audreys Picks Nov. 19, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | November 12, 2017

Bay Area Bioscience Events Week of Nov. 12, 2017

Highlights for Bay Area Bioscience Events Week of Nov. 12, 2017

  • GGPF, Monday Evening, Nov. 13, 2017, Topic: ” Electroactive Fluorinated Polymers”
    Speaker: Larry Judovits, Principal Scientist, Arkema, Inc.
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, Nov. 14, 2017, Topic: “Sprout MedicalMaking an Impact in Critical Care”
  • EMBS, Wednesday Evening, Nov. 15, 2017, Topic: “Early results from proof of concept clinical trials with G-Tech Medical’s EKG for the Gut,” Speaker: Steve Axelrod, CEO of G-Tech Medical
  • WIB -National Webinar, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, Topic: “Project Management – How Good Leadership Can Make or Break Project Success”
  • Bioscience Forum, Wednesday Evening, Nov. 15, 2017, Topic: “Mining the Microbiome for New Therapeutic Candidates for Chronic Diseases,” Speaker: Karim Dabbagh, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Second Genome
  • QB3, Thursday Midday, Nov. 17, 2017, Event: Seminar for Entrepreneurs, “Destroyer of Obstacles’: Going…” Speaker: Eric Hobbs, CEO, Berkeley Lights

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through April 2018 with Audreys Picks Nov. 12, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | November 5, 2017

President Wants to Add Attack on ACA in Tax Reduction Plan

Now Republicans Asked by President to Add Attack on ACA in Tax Reduction Plan

President Trump wants to undo the ACA’s individual mandate as part of the tax overhaul bill despite opposition by party leaders like House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas. If Republicans were to pass legislation that both made sweeping tax changes and undermined the ACA, it would accomplish two of Trump’s top legislative priorities – and in one stroke reverse Republicans’ legislative fortunes after a string of legislative setbacks…..

But adding the controversial health care change would further complicate the tax effort. Republicans hold majorities in the House and Senate, but internal party divides make finding enough votes for tax reform a challenge, and the party already tried multiple times to repeal the ACA but was unable to find the votes.”

The initial draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act released on Thursday did not include this presidential request. Source: Trump pushes for ACA mandate repeal in tax bill By Mike DeBonis.  Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2017 at

Bill presented on Thursday cuts deductions for medical expenses. Currently, taxpayers can deduct medical expenses that are 10 percent or more of income. See how tax plan might effect you in article below. Trump’s Tax Plan and How It Would Affect You; House Ways and Means Committee Releases Tax Plan, First Step of Many,” by Kimberly AmadeoNov. 4, 2017 at

Bay Area Life Science Events Week of Nov. 5, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Nov. 7, Speaker: Atta Pilram, President, President, Care Anytime
  • Rosenman Institute Partnering Day, Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Event: Meet one-on-one with Nipro Corp., a leading Japanese medtech company
  • Rosenman, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, Event: “Rosenman D-Series: A Conversation with Matt Likens,” Speaker: Matthew Likens, President and CEO of GT Medical Technologies

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through April 2018 with Audreys Picks Nov.5, 2017. You can also download last week’s new Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through Oct. 29, 2017.



Posted by: Audrey Erbes | October 29, 2017

Is Recent Huge Cut in Medicare Actually Law?

Congress Just Cut $500 Billion from Medicare?

Question is what does the recent legislation really mean? I don’t think they really passed law removing $500 billion. What they actually did is a ”set up” for future legislation in which they would like to cut $1.5 Trillion from social welfare programs which we thought were untouchable—“entitlement programs.” Actually what they did is show us their vision of what they want to do.

“The budget resolution adopted by the US Senate last week, and by the House of Representatives on Thursday, is not a law. It cannot be signed or vetoed by the president, and the policies it recommends are just that — recommendations.”

But it matters because the budget resolution changes the rules for passing certain legislation, especially in the Senate where it will allow Republicans to pass $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years with only 51 votes. “Congress quietly passed a budget outline with $1.8 trillion in health care cuts, Will the cuts become law? Unlikely. Does the budget vision matter? Definitely.” updated by Dylan,  Oct 26, 2017. Find this very detailed article filled with information at

Highlights for Life Science Events for Week of Oct. 29, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 31, 2017, Topic: “Opportunities and Challenges for the Health Ecosystem in Emerging Countries,” Speaker:  Bert Wank, Founder & CEO, infiniRel Corporation
  • QB3, Thursday Midday, Oct. 31, 2017, Event: “Introduction to the Science Exchange Marketplace at QB3,” Speakers: Nolan McDonnelll is the Director of Business Development at Science Exchange and Zev Wisotsky is a Senior Scientist / Research & Development Specialist at Science Exchange
  • JLABS, Thursday Midday, Nov. 2, 2017, Topic: “Let’s Talk Legal Workshop | Venture Financing: What to Expect and Strategies for Success,” Speakers: Stuart Wilks | Assistant General Councel, Johnson & Johnson,Steven A. Wilcox | Partner, Ropes & Gray, Brad Flint | Associate, Ropes & Gray
  • MedTech Frontiers, Thursday Evening, Nov. 2, 2017, Topic: “The Intersection of Big Data (BD) and Interactive Virtual Reality (IVR): It’s All About Intuition, Speaker: Ron Schilling, PhD, Executive Chairman, EchoPixel

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through March 2018 with Audreys Picks Oct. 29, 2017. You can also download this week’s new Jobs That Crossed My Desk ThroughOct. 29, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | October 22, 2017

Bipartisan Health Care Bill Ready to Go to Senate Floor

Bipartisan Health Care Bill Ready to Go to Senate for Vote

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray have reached an agreement on a bipartisan Obamacare deal to fund a key insurance subsidy program and provide states flexibility to skirt some requirements of the health care law. But Republicans were lukewarm about bringing the proposed agreement to the Senate floor this past week.


“The deal would include funding through 2019 for Obamacare’s cost-sharing program, which President Donald Trump cut last week. It would allow states to use existing Obamacare waivers to approve insurance plans with “comparable affordability” to Obamacare plans, Alexander said. But it would notably not allow states to duck the law’s minimum requirements for what a health insurance plan must cover.”

“Sen. Murray and I have an agreement,” Alexander said. “We’re going to round up co-sponsors as best we can.”

“Alexander, Murray strike bipartisan Obamacare deal providing subsidies, state flexibility” at


Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer today said Democrats, independents and Republicans have over 60 votes to pass the legislation. McConnell claims he will bring the bill to floor if President Trump agrees to sign it.

Highlights from Bay Area Life Science Events Week of Oct. 22, 2017

  • PBSS, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 24, 2017, PBSS-San Francisco Bay Workshop, “Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs): Fundamentals, Regulatory Trends and Best Practices,” Speaker: Lisa Helmonds, Vice President, MWA Consulting, Inc.
  • JLABS, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 24, 2017, Topic: “Excited About Your Story: Tell it Like a TED Pro”
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 24, 2017, Topic: “Disrupting the Standard of Care Through the Novel Combination of Wearable Devices and Data Analytics,” Speaker: Justin Cambra, Senior Director of Systems Development, iRhythm Technologies
  • Palo Alto AWIS, Wednesday Evening, October 25, 2017, Topic: Authentic Courage for Decision and Conflict Coaching – AWIS Palo Alto
  • WBA, Thursday Evening, Oct. 26, 2017, Topic: “WIB-SF Leadership Programs: Building a Community of Biotech Women Leaders from Bench to Boardroom”

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through March 2018 with Audreys Picks Oct. 22, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | October 15, 2017

Trump Continues Assault on Obamacare with Executive Order

Now Trump Acts to Sabotage Obamacare with Executive Order

The President takes action to stop payments of subsidies that make insurance more affordable for lower income citizens—mainly from the states that supported him. “Nearly 70 percent of those benefiting from the so-called cost-sharing subsidies live in states Trump won last November, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The number underscores the political risk for Trump and his party, which could end up owning the blame for increased costs and chaos in the insurance marketplace.

The subsidies are paid to insurers by the federal government to help lower consumers’ deductibles and co-pays. People who benefit will continue receiving the discounts because insurers are obligated by law to provide them. But to make up for the lost federal funding, health insurers will have to raise premiums substantially, potentially putting coverage out of reach for many consumers.”

Source: “Pro-Trump States To Be Most Affected by His Health Care Decision,” by Christina A. Cassidy and Meghan Hoyer, Associated Press, 14 October 17 at


Insurance companies are expected to raise premiums from 15 to 45 percent as a result of the President’s ill-advised move.  Supposedly a top cabinet member called him a “moron” for this and another action regarding the Iran deal. I suspect he won’t make it to the end of the year in office if he continues these antics—the clown conman and huckster in him can’t be suppressed.

Upcoming BioScience Events in Bay Area

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 17, 2017,Topic: “Building Wearables to Detect Patient Deterioration Earlier,” Speaker: Werner Vorster, Founder and CEO, Vitls

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through March 2018 with Audreys Picks Oct. 15, 2017.

Posted by: Audrey Erbes | October 7, 2017

Republicans Use Sleight of Hand to Achieve Major Tax Cuts

Republicans Use Sleight of Hand to Achieve  Major Tax Cut for Wealthy and Corporations

John McCain’s lecture on passing legislation the way it was intended in the Constitution didn’t stick long with party leaders.  You thought you had seen the worst with Trumpcare 1, 2 and 3. You haven’t seen anything yet. They have now put together legislative program to again use reconciliation procedure that only requires 50 vote requirement to pass major legislation but also will use deceptive promises without any intent of delivering on them. The large tax cut is still prime driver with major social programs used to fund it over time. There is no true plan to balance the budget—just an appearance that $4.1 trillion budget they just passed in House will make everything right.

What it doesn’t do—stop threats to repeal Obamacare, give tax cuts to middle and lower classes, leave Medicare untouched as promised by Trump, reform Medicaid and strengthen Medicare as assured by Paul Ryan R-Wis. Ryan just uses the positive language to disguise his malevolent economic plans. This most recent plan includes controversial steps to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees

The House measure calls for more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years promising to slash Medicaid by about $1 trillion and cutting other health care costs plus cutting other domestic programs in future years. We went through this before—tax cuts to the wealthy which were supposed to put money into the economy—but didn’t. Just like repatriation of corporate profits were supposed to be invested in creating new jobs but instead  were used for companies to buy back company stock.

(Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press, Oct. 6, 2017 found at

Highlights of Bay Area Bioscience Events Week of Oct. 7, 2017

  • QB3, Tuesday MidDay, Oct. 10, 2017, Topic: “Business Model Innovation: Designing Strategies for the Future”
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, Oct. 10, 2017, Topic: The Next Generation In-Vivo Discovery Platform; using technology to advance and accelerate drug development, Speakers: Larry Stevens & Abe Couse, (LS) Vice President Technology Operations; (AC) Vice President of Marketing (Co-Presenter), Vium
  • EPPIC Global, Tuesday Evening, Oct. 10, 2017, Topic: Spotlight Event on Neural Prosthetics, Speaker: Professor Krishna Shenoy, Neural Prosthetic Systems Lab, Stanford University
  • PBSS, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, Minisymposium Topic: “Immunogenicity of Biologic Therapeutics”
  • East Bay AWIS, Thursday Evenng, Oct. 12, 2017, Topic: “The Equity Equation,” Speaker: Mary Russell, attorney counsel to individual contributors, executives and founders on their personal interests in startup equity including:
  • CBA, Saturday Oct. 14, 2017, Event: “Annual Chinese Bioscience Association Conference,” Theme: Promoting Biosciences for Better Human Health- CBA 20th Anniversary

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through Feb. 2018 with Audreys Picks Oct. 7, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | October 1, 2017

The Fight for Universal Health Care Continues

Remain on Guard to Ensure only Improved Healthcare is Passed

Although the 50 vote passage threat of passing a Trumpcare plan by the Senate is past, the Republicans are still fighting to have another go at repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with less costly Trumpcare version. Congressmen have their plates full with passing tax savings legislation (note not tax reform) in face of major costs for repairing storm damage in U.S.,  Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands.  We have learned that the President comes from the school of blaming people for their illness or crisis–not wanting to pay for it so I am not expecting any grand gesture of resolving the crises of the storms or health care.

Tom Price’s resignation in the face of embarrassing admissions of outrageous spending for private jets domestically and use of expensive military flights overseas is a diversion from Trump’s outrageous glamorous spending for travel for himself and his family and their families. Perhaps it’s Price’s punishment for not getting Obama repeal passed.

Watching the Vietnam War series drives home how politicians can hurt millions of people to enrich themselves. I am still absorbing the shocking facts that were not known about the war earlier. The treatment of war protestors then alerts me to how bad things could get if billionaires are threatened with loss of their huge incomes. Even though they don’t really need more billions, they still don’t want to lose that future income.

Highlights of Bay Area BioScience Meetings Week of Oct. 1, 2017

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 3, 2017, Topic: “Operationalizing Product Management for Telehealth Devices,” Speaker: Padmasri Bhetanabhotla,  Director of Product Management, HealthExpense, Inc.
  • JLABS, Tuesday Morning, Oct. 3, 2017, Event: Meet with… Novo Ventures, Speaker: Peter Moldt, Ph.D., Partner, Novo Ventures and Kenneth Harrison, Sr. Associate, Novo Ventures
  • QB3, Seminars in Regulatory Issues, Tuesday Afternoon, Oct. 3, 2017, Topic: “Safety Considerations for Gene Editing and Other Gene Therapy Products: An FDA Perspective,” Speakers: Dr. Ying Huang Pharm/Tox Master Reviewer FDA/CBER/OTAT/DCEPT and Dr. Jakob Reiser, PI & CMC Reviewer FDA/CBER
  • JLABS, Wednesday Morning, Oct. 4, 2017, Topic: “Let’s Talk Legal Workshop | Protecting and Leveraging your Intellectual Property,” Speakers: Stuart Wilks | Assistant General Council, Johnson & Johnson,Megan R. Baca | Partner, Ropes & Gray and Melissa S. Rones | Partner , Ropes & Gray
  • QB3 SBIR Workshop At Berkeley, Starting Oct. 4, 2017, “The Art, Science, and Politics of Writing a Successful SBIR Proposal
  • Free Webinar on European Medical Device Market, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, Topic: “Success in the European Medical Device Market“ webinar
  • Medtech Frontiers, Thursday Evening, Oct. 5, 2017, Topic: “Solving for x: A Solution to the Healthcare Conundrum?” Speaker: Wayne Pen, MD/PhD, MBA, Medical Director &  Health Economist, US Medical Affairs, Genentech

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through November 2017 with Audreys Picks Oct. 1, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | September 24, 2017

Republican Senate Attempts a Third Time to Repeal ACA

Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare Latest Republican Push to Kill Obamacare

Dianne Feinstein says the latest new Trumpcare plan is no better than the earlier attempts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act plan. “Coverage for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated, premiums would skyrocket, and Americans would see exorbitantly high surcharges on select conditions like pregnancy, lung cancer, and asthma.) Due to Senate rules, Republicans only have 11 days to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill with only 50 votes so we need to let Congress know and, especially, Senators that we want them to vote no on this Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare Plan. They are planning to vote on this bill without benefit of full report from the Congressional Budget Office on how Americans or our economy would be impacted this coming week.

Republicans would need 60 votes instead of only 50 to pass their latest version of Trumpcare if they miss their arbitrary deadline at the end of Sept. It is hard to believe that they are so strongly focused on repealing and replacing the ACA despite all the opposition demonstrated against earlier Trumpcare versions and now with a renewed no from John McCain of Arizona and two more likely no votes from  Republican senators. Why are Republicans so intent on delivering a campaign promise to repeal Obamacare and seemingly immune to tragic consequences to citizens? Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii recently claimed it’s because their party views health care as a commodity and Democrats, a right.

Repealing ACA talking points include:

  • Would leave 32 million more Americans without health care for total of 60 million uninsured.
  • Insurance companies could discriminate against patients and deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

In contrast, an overwhelming majority of voters oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act. Americans want to expand health care, in fact, two thirds support Medicare for all.

Action Items

First, call your Senator and make sure they will vote “no” on the Graham-Cassidy bill. You can reach the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or find your Senator’s direct number here:

Highlights of Life Science Events Week of Sept. 24, 2017

  • QB3 SBIR Workshop, Starting Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017
  • Rosenman Institute, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, Event: Get Help on Device Regulatory Issues from Rosenman Fellow Kevin MacDonald
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, Sept. 27, 2017, Topic: “Development of Cell Free Antibody Drug Conjugates and Bispecific Antibodies to Treat Cancers,” Speaker: Trevor Hallam, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Sutro Biopharma
  • JLABS, Thursday Morning, Sept. 28, 2017,Topic: “The Race to Market: Building an Efficient Discovery Engine,Speakers: David Malwitz| Manager, Bioresearch Quality & Compliance, Janssen R&D;Lynn Young | Sr. Research Manager, Alliance Business & Portfolio Managements, Janssen R&D; Jackie Benson| VP Immunology SCI Innocation, Research Admin, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • WIB-San Francisco, Thursday Evening, Sept. 28, 2017,Topic: “Redefining Healthcare,” moderator, Michelle Zeman, PhD (Clinical Genomics Scientist at Invitae) and Deborah Kilpatrick, PhD (CEO, Evidation Health), Ida Shum, JD (Sr. Manager, Business Development at Samsung),Ruchita Sinha (Sr. Director Investments, Sanofi Ventures, Lucia Soares (VP, Healthcare Technology Programs & Delivery, Johnson & Johnson)
  • Northern California 2017 Fall Symposium, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, Topic: “The 3R’s”

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through October 2017 with Audreys PicksSept. 24, 2017.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | September 8, 2017

Bay Area BioScience Events Week of Sept 10, 2017

Wishing You a Great Week!

I’m on vacation this week but wanted to share event information for this upcoming week before leaving. I have no new job listings since last week.


  • JLABS, Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 11-12, 2017, Join the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, JLABS @ SSF, Stanford Medicine, and Seventure for the 2017 West Coast Microbiome Forum, a 2-day event exploring key aspects of microbiome research. **Note – There is separate registration for each day.September 11: Bioinformatics for the Microbiome, hosted by Stanford Medicine. Details/Register with Stanford here (Link will redirect you to a non-J&J Innovation website), September 12: Bugs, Drugs & Beyond: Translational Approaches to the Mircrobiome, hosted by JHMI and JLABS.
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, Sept. 12, 2017, Topic: “Behavioral Design for Wearables and Health-IT: Pitfalls and Promises,” Speaker: Sunil Maulik, Innovator, Educator, Entrepeneur
  • WIB-San Francisco YWIB, Tuesday Evening, Sept. 12, 2017, Topic: “STEM CELLS… All the cool girls are discovering them!”
  • QB3 Rosenman Institute D-Series, Tuesday Evening, Sept. 12, 2017, Event: An Interview with Justin Klein of New Enterprise Associates
  • PBSS, Wednesday Seminar Luncheon, Sept. 13, 2017, Topic: “Unique Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics Properties of Vyxeos: Development of a Nano-scale Fixed-ratio Cytarabine/Daunorubicin Liposomal Formulation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” Speaker: Jackie Gibbons, Ph.D, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Organizer:Tracy Chen

You can download the details for the upcoming events this week and those through October 2017 with Audreys Picks Sept. 10, 2017. There is a Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through Sept. 3, 2017 also available in pdf.


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