Trump’s budget proposes a whopping 20% cut to the National Institutes for Health, the organization in charge of medical research in every state in our country and across the world, to enact a massive reorganization the White House says will boost job creation in America. But as NPR puts it: “Funding from the National Institutes of Health flows to more than 2,600 institutions around the country and creates more than 313,000 full- and part-time jobs, according to a 2016 study. So it’s not obvious how slashing billions from the NIH budget, as the Trump administration proposes, will bring more jobs to America.” Last week, Ann Romney spoke out strongly against the budget cuts, stating that a lack of funding means “…no new treatments, there will be no new drug therapies. Progress in medicine will come to a halt.”
Here’s how NIH funding works: The NIH pays out most of its funding, rather than spending it on its own employees, primarily to universities. Universities then spend a portion of the funds on buying equipment, chemicals and ingredients, goods and services from U.S. vendors and subcontractors locally, statewide and across the country, supporting an entire industry of companies that exists to service biomedical research. Another large chunk of the money goes to fund scientists conducting medical research, a long term investment in the knowledge that drives economic growth. It is unclear how the spending cuts target grants to these university scientists.
How else does public health lose out in Trump’s budget? The proposed federal budget does not outline cuts to the Center for Disease Control, but promises “reforms” and a $500 million block grant to states for state health priorities that may be deducted from the CDC’s core budget, meaning this good program would come at the cost of other crucial programs. Although Trump’s budget proposes the creation of a new “Federal Emergency Response Fund” for rapid respond to public health outbreaks, it simultaneously proposes funding cuts for the Department of Health and Human Services, which may have serious negative impacts on both federal and state responses to public health needs.
CALL TO ACTION
- Contact your MOCs (Members of Congress) to support full funding for the NIH, CDC and HHS. Remind our congressional reps that NIH funds are crucial for medical advancements and treatments, public health and jobs. Let them know that new public health programs cannot come at the expense of others. Scientists must be supported to continue our nation’s legacy of innovation, to drive the economy, and to create the medical treatments of tomorrow.
- Spread the word about Ann Romney’s opposition to the NIH cuts by sharing this article on social media.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (UT01) – D.C. (202) 225-0453, UT (801) 625-0107
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT02) – D.C. (202) 225-9730, UT (801) 364-5550
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT03) – D.C. (202) 225-7751, UT (801) 851-2500
Rep. Mia Love (UT04) – D.C. (202) 225-3011, UT (801) 996-8729
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