Research!America Urges Congress: Support Medical Research in 2012 Budget
WASHINGTON-April 18, 2011-Research!America urged Congress to prioritize medical, health and scientific research as it begins the process of determining the FY2012 federal budget.
Former Congressman John Edward Porter (R-IL), Research!America's chair, said, "Science, research and innovation are the future for our economy, for job growth and for healthier, more productive lives. Our national deficit poses a serious challenge, and we must meet that challenge and solve our deficit and debt problem. But in so doing, we must prioritize what is vital to us and what is not and build on our areas of worldwide leadership. In medical research, we have always been and are today the global leader. We cannot allow that to be lost. We must protect funding for the federal agencies that drive our competitiveness in the world and our leadership in science and innovation."
Research!America called for protection of funding for our nation's leading health research agencies:
- National Institutes of Health, which funds research at academic institutions and medical centers nationwide, creating jobs, boosting local economies and laying the groundwork for product development by the private sector;
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose research helps protect Americans against pandemics and bioterrorism and works to prevent costly disease and disability;
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which supports research that improves the efficiency and quality of health care and thus helps control costs;
- National Science Foundation, which funds basic discoveries that private industry can develop into new products and technologies, creating jobs and ensuring U.S. competitiveness; and
- Food and Drug Administration, whose regulatory science ensures the safety and efficacy of new medicines and medical devices, speeding the benefits of research to patients.
Mary Woolley, Research!America's president and CEO, said, "Research and development are economic imperatives, not partisan issues. I hope Congress and the White House will agree on a bipartisan basis that we must invest in health research as a means of saving lives, saving dollars-through smarter, better health care-and maintaining our leadership in an innovation-driven global economy."
Woolley added, "The public understands this well. In a Research!America poll last month, 78% of Americans said federal funding for health research is important for job creation and the economy, and 61% say accelerating our nation's investment in research to improve health is a priority. I urge Congress to tell Americans where they stand at www.yourcongressyourhealth.org. I also encourage the public to contact their elected officials' district offices during this week's congressional recess to ask them to fill out the questionnaire."
Last week, Research!America submitted written testimony, available here, to the House Subcommittee that oversees appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Research!America is the nation's largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans. Visit www.researchamerica.org.