Small Increases Put NIH on Shaky Ground for Sequester, says American Heart Association

June 14, 2012 Categories: Advocacy News
Washington, D.C. June 12, 2012 American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown made the following comments today on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education’s proposed $100 million increase to the National Institutes of Health’s FY 2013 budget:
 
“For the last few years because of our struggling economy, the American Heart Association has accepted small increases to the annual budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  But this year is different.  Our nation is facing a financial abyss with the budget sequester slated to go into effect in January.
 
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, most domestic spending, including every NIH institute and center, will be subject to a mandatory cut of at least 8 percent. A cut of this magnitude will push the NIH back to 2004 funding levels and have a devastating impact on medical research, the nation’s economy and the health of all Americans.
 
R»esearch is an investment in our nation’s future.  We have an obligation to our country, patients and future generations to fund medical research at levels that will improve health, spur innovation and grow our economy. The American Heart Association urges the House Appropriations Subcommittee to propose a robust boost in NIH funding for 2013.
 
While the NIH did not receive the support we had hoped for, we were extremely pleased that the Senate Subcommittee provided $5 million in federal funding for the Million Hearts initiative – which seeks to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. 
 
In addition, the committee doubled the budget for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program. Immediate use of an AED can more than double an individual’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Communities with aggressive AED programs have achieved survival rates of nearly 40 percent.  Clearly, this program saves lives and we are gratified that it will continue to receive support.”       
 
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 Media Contact:  Retha Sherrod, (202) 785-7929;  retha.sherrod@heart.org