Statement by Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley on House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee FY18 Bill
The $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved by the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee for FY18 is truly gratifying given current funding constraints as a result of sequestration. We commend Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) for his continuing efforts to ensure NIH is resourced to fuel life-saving science at research institutions across the United States. The Fogarty International Center, which plays a crucial role in protecting our nation from deadly global health threats, was preserved in the spending bill despite the president’s budget proposal calling for elimination of the Center. However, we cannot expect to make significant strides in the prevention and eradication of deadly health conditions with insufficient funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While we appreciate that the subcommittee opted not to eliminate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as in years past, our nation is squandering crucial opportunities for saving lives and money by grossly underinvesting in AHRQ. Americans deserve a full-court press in the fight against disease. The CDC and AHRQ must be equipped to confront the many costly health challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, antimicrobial resistance and the opioid epidemic that are claiming lives and putting an enormous strain on our economy. It serves the national interest for Congress to reject the arbitrary sequestration cuts imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act, and forge a bipartisan budget deal that honors American priorities and sharpens our nation’s competitive edge in science and technology.