When the chips are down, we can always count on our champions to fight for what is right, as was demonstrated today with an amendment to boost NIH funding by $1 billion from Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS). In his remarks to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Moran quoted Research!America’s statement from our Chair, Congressman John Porter, but alas, the amendment did not pass. See today’s press statement acknowledging Sen. Moran for his leadership.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $100 million increase for NIH, which unfortunately is a small fraction of what’s needed to fully empower our research enterprise. I recognize the fiscal challenges facing our country, but if we continue to make diminutive investments in research and prevention we will cede our position as the world’s leader in medical innovation and deny Americans a healthier future. As advocates, we need to get our nation back on track. See our press release on the Senate funding recommendations, which was also quoted in articles published in Nature and CQ HealthBeat.
At the time of this writing, final numbers for CDC and AHRQ have not been publically released, but will be made available after the weekend. Stay tuned for more on those agencies in my next weekly letter.
Next week, the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over NIH, CDC, and AHRQ is scheduled to release its funding recommendations, but as I’ve mentioned in previous letters, the total funding allocation available to this subcommittee is significantly less than that available to its Senate counterpart. This redoubles the pressure on this subcommittee to propose funding cuts for medical and health research. It is essential that you send an email to your representatives TODAY and drive home the message that research funding is part of the solution to our nation’s economic woes and provides the best defense against emerging health threats.
Today, the National Research Council released a report and 10 recommendations to “maintain excellence in research education.” While the most important measure of this report will be the extent to which it helps our research universities fulfill their critical missions, these universities certainly deserve notice and credit. They are pivotal for driving innovation and powering economic growth, while helping our nation maintain our global competitiveness.
In my past weekly letters, I’ve cited a variety of new reports and studies warning that our biomedical sector and its global preeminence is at risk. But it’s not too late to correct our course with adequate federal funding and some common sense policy changes at the state and federal level. That was the message of a recent op-ed published in the Tampa Bay Online by Ross C. DeVol, the Chief Research Officer at the Milken Institute. During this election season, it is critical that you engage state and local media – it’s a great way to get our message to candidates and policymakers while informing the public. With so much at stake, now is the time to pen an op-ed or letter to the editor.