Flat NIH Funding Will Jeopardize Promising Heart and Stroke Research, Says American Heart Association President

February 13, 2012 Categories: Advocacy News
Washington, D.C. American Heart Association President Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., issued the following statement today on the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal year 2013 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
 
“The American Heart Association is greatly disappointed with the Obama administration’s recommendation to leave the NIH budget at last year’s level of $30.9 billion. Flat funding for the NIH this year puts the agency in an extremely weak position with a 9 percent cut, required by last year’s Budget Control Act, looming in 2013. 
 
NIH-funded research is the best chance we have to find a cure for heart disease, stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease that kill more than 800,000 Americans each year. Yet, the NIH can afford to invest only 5 percent of its budget on heart research, and a mere 1 percent on stroke research. This lack of federal support is jeopardizing research opportunities and holding back hope for the millions of Americans who suffer from cardiovascular diseases.
 
Enhanced funding for the NIH has always been a proven and wise investment.  It has revolutionized patient care through innovative treatments and cures, created thousands of U.S. jobs and produced billions of dollars in economic activity. Without it, we put our nation’s status as the world leader in biomedical research at enormous risk.
 
During February – American Heart Month, we highlight the fight against heart disease and stress what each of us can do to improve our heart health. NIH research is a vital weapon in this battle.  As the new federal budget moves forward, we urge Congress to make increased support for the NIH a top priority. It is an essential investment we must make – for our nation’s health and prosperity.”
 
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Contact: Retha Sherrod, 202-785-7929
                 retha.sherrod@heart.org