This week, Bloomberg’s Elizabeth Lopatto examines how the recent debt ceiling agreement will impact NIH funding:
If Congress doesn’t approve $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas, a broad swath of federal programs will be automatically slashed, including the National Institutes of Health…
A 7.9 percent cut for NIH would be the largest in the agency’s history, amounting to about a $2.5 billion reduction in 2013. By comparison, the agency was cut $317 million this year.
There may be some light at the end of the tunnel, however. Lopatto continues:
[T]he NIH could draw on the bipartisan support it long has enjoyed in Congress. A largely Republican- controlled Congress about doubled the agency’s budget from 1998 to 2003.
The threat of deep cuts to medical research may help lawmakers forge an agreement that avoids the automatic reduction, said former Representative James Walsh, a New York Republican.
“We all had constituents who have cancer and heart disease and childhood diabetes — and they are very effective advocates,” he said.