American Heart Association Advocates Call on Congress To Protect NIH Funding From Automatic Budget Cuts

June 08, 2012 Categories: Advocacy News
 Washington, D.C., June 6, 2012 – Researchers, heart and stroke survivors, and healthcare professionals from around the country urged Congress today to protect the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from mandatory budget cuts in January 2013. 
More than 60 American Heart Association volunteers from 17 states met with their congressional representatives and asked them to make sustained support for NIH-funded research a key priority as Capitol Hill and the White House consider the sequester of the federal budget.
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 in January 2013.  For the NIH, this will mean a reduction of about $2.4 billion which would push the agency back to 2004 funding levels. This dramatic decrease in support could result in loss of more than 30,000 jobs across the United States and a $4.5 billion decline in economic activity.
Among the volunteer advocates were some young investigators whose research careers could be greatly impacted if these devastating cuts to NIH are approved by Congress.
“We could potentially eliminate a generation of young researchers because they will lack NIH grants to support their work,” said American Heart Association President Gordon Tomaselli, M.D. 
A cut of this magnitude would also result in a decline in the United States’ role as the world leader in medical research. Most importantly, it could delay finding critical cures for prevalent and costly diseases such as heart disease and stroke.  
“R»esearch is an investment in our nation’s future,” stressed Dr. Tomaselli. “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.”
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Contact:  Retha Sherrod;;   (202) 785-7929