sequestration

Excerpt of an op-ed by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation President Claire Pomeroy, MD, published in the Huffington Post . As an HIV physician, I began my career early in the AIDS epidemic before effective antiviral medications existed. I held my patients’ hands as they cried when receiving their diagnosis and I went to their funerals. I saw hope in their eyes when new antivirals became available. And when protease inhibitors were licensed and “triple therapy” became the norm, I could help patients plan how they would live, rather than how they would die. Scientific breakthroughs happened only because of our nation’s commitment to biomedical research, but this power of research to make...
Dear Research Advocate: During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama acknowledged the important role federally funded research plays in maintaining our global competitive edge and referenced the harm done to basic science by sequestration. Using the example of vaccines, he highlighted the importance of applied research, not only for our health but for the strength of our economy. See my statement about the address here . For the president to succeed in achieving a ’€œbreakthrough year for America’€ ’€” a theme in his address that he is repeating in appearances across the nation ’€” we urge him to put science and innovation at the forefront. I emphasized this in a letter...
January 29, 2014 It’s heartening President Obama chose to emphasize in his speech the significance of federally funded basic research and the need to undo the damage that has been done to it in recent years with deep spending cuts. The president used language the science community epitomizes – he spoke of working for “breakthroughs” and a nation motivated by opportunity. But actions speak louder than words. Congress and the White House must treat research and innovation as the health and economic imperative it has always been and invest in expanding our nation’s research capacity. It bears on business and job creation in both the research and manufacturing sectors; it bears on our nation’s...
Dear Research Advocate: The omnibus appropriations bill about to become law demonstrates that bipartisanship and pseudo -regular order is achievable. We won’€™t know for sure if we have true ’€œregular order’€ until Congress proceeds through the FY15 appropriations process in a timely manner ’€” something that hasn’€™t happened for many years. The importance of regular order is that the public’€™s interests are heard from in hearings, and every Member of Congress participates in priority-setting instead of only having the opportunity to cast a single up-or-down vote. Regular order is worth working toward, since at least one priority we all care about did not fare well in the omnibus. The...
We applaud portions of the omnibus bill that support the nation’s research, innovation and public health ecosystem, which works to assure our future health and economic well-being. The growth in funding for the Food and Drug Administration, fueled in part by the common-sense return of the 2013 user fees, as well as the increases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Science Foundation are welcome news. But funding for the National Institutes of Health has been kept well below the level of scientific opportunity. We must eliminate sequestration once and for all, and grow our investment in NIH in order to slow and...
Dear Research Advocate: Following the lead of Budget Chairs Murray (D-WA) and Ryan (R-WI-01), Appropriations Chairs Mikulski (D-MD) and Rogers (R-KY-05) are trying to end the recent string of continuing resolutions and craft a funding compromise that advances the nation’€™s best interests. Congress may miss its January 15 deadline for appropriations, but it won’€™t likely shut down the government. We anticipate a short-term extension of the deadline while appropriators in both chambers work to craft an omnibus bill that reflects today’€™s priorities instead of blind, across-the-board cuts. It’€™s about time, you’€™re thinking (and I agree!) that Congress gets back to ’€œregular order.’€...
Recently, progress has been made in Congress that must not be confused for victory but is momentum to be capitalized on. For instance, the bipartisanship and compromise that we’€™ve seen in Congress is the first step in a long journey that is necessary for medical and health research to flourish and which provides temporary relief from sequestration. Now is the time to carry forward. Advocates cannot tiptoe around other far-reaching truths: Our global competitiveness is at risk, young scientists are leaving the profession as fewer grants are awarded, Americans are dying, health care costs are exploding, and the facts prove it. Investing in innovation, at levels set to match and exceed...
Dear Research Advocate, This is the time of year when many of us attempt to translate our successes, defeats, observations and unfulfilled goals into New Year’€™s resolutions. I have some thoughts about resolutions in the context of advocacy for research to improve health. I welcome your feedback as Research!America continues to fight for funding and a policy environment that propels medical and health progress forward. 1) We will not only push for pro-innovation policy making, we will push for policy making itself. In other words: leadership, bipartisanship and compromise. The recent bipartisan, bicameral budget action in Congress is a small step in the right direction, but it is just the...
Dear Research Advocate: The end of the year is a good time to think ahead and consider our nation at the end of the decade; how will we fare in the world order? My letter this week to the editor of the New York Times highlights poll data indicating that Americans don’€™t believe the U.S. will be the world leader in science and technology by 2020. This data reflects opinions grounded in numerous media reports on China’s accomplishments and determination to lead the world in science. Chinese accomplishments in space of late and their plans for a space station in 2020 ought to be a 21st century “Sputnik moment” for the U.S. It should be a wake-up call to policy makers: get serious about...
Dear Research Advocate: Here’€™s a holiday surprise! I am not referring to the budget deal, but to the fact that Merriam-Webster’€™s 2013 word of the year ’€” determined via the greatest increase in online searches ’€” is “science.” I find this to be refreshing news, providing evidence that interest in science is growing, which in turn is an indication of substantial room for researchers and research advocates to contribute to public understanding and support of science. We appear to have an opportunity ready for the taking to overcome the “invisibility” problem that contributes to holding decision makers back from assigning a higher priority to science. And speaking of those decision...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln