Today, the House LHHS Appropriations subcommittee marked up the NIH FY13 appropriations bill. The following is UMR’s reaction statement:
“We are extremely disappointed that the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations subcommittee has provided flat funding for the National Institutes of Health in its FY2013 markup. Taking inflation into account, this “flat funding” level amounts to a cut for this crucial agency. Innovation and research are essential to fueling the economy, and medical research is our best weapon against the looming explosion in health care costs related to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The United States cannot afford to slide backwards when it comes to research and development, particularly when budget sequestration threatens the possibility of even more disastrous cuts to the NIH.
“While NIH funds are an indispensable component of our efforts to lessen the burden of disease and its associated health care costs, the dollars also play a significant role in state and local employment. In fact, a recent report from UMR showed that the NIH extramural research in the 50 states supported nearly a half million jobs and produced $62 billion in new economic activity in 2011 alone.
“Medical research supported by the NIH, combined with investments from the private sector, has led to improved health, better quality of life and increased productivity for millions of patients and their families. We urge Congress to do what’s best for our country’s health and economic well-being and protect lifesaving funding for the NIH.”