“America First and Greatest” Requires Investment in NIH
The Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research issued the following statement in response to the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget blueprint released today.
March 16, 2017 – The Administration’s proposal to gut funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by nearly 20 percent ($5.8 billion) will dramatically impact the lives of all Americans by slowing research to find treatments and cures for illnesses and diseases suffered by patients nationwide. Cuts to NIH of such unprecedented magnitude will diminish funding of current research grants as well as those in the future hurting the US economy in every region and community, depressing economic growth.
As the President eloquently noted in his Joint Address to Congress last month, millions of Americans in every community await new or improved treatments and diagnostics for a wide range of diseases. Medical research supported by the NIH plays an irreplaceable role in achieving their hopes of a healthier future. For this reason, the investment in NIH has long been prioritized by leaders of both parties as a key responsibility for the federal government.
As the Academy has often noted regarding the number of imaging patents created by National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) funded research, by supporting imaging research at universities, medical schools, teaching hospitals, and other institutions across the country, NIH and, in particular, NIBIB has fueled local and regional economies by creating jobs and catalyzing new industries. For decades, the federal commitment to scientific discovery has strengthened our country’s competitiveness in a global market that is actively working to unseat the U.S. as the world’s leader in medical research. To keep “America First and Greatest,” we must bolster, rather than undermine, the nation’s medical research capacity.
The Academy urges Congress to reject these unprecedented and harmful proposed cuts to NIH and to continue its critical investment in medical science. We look forward to working with lawmakers to finalize an FY 2017 spending package with $34.1 billion for NIH – as approved nearly unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee in June 2016. Further, we strongly recommend Congress to continue this budget trajectory with a $2 billion increase over FY 2017 for NIH in FY 2018, in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives. Delivering the promise of treatments and cures to patients nationwide requires a commitment to non-defense discretionary spending like NIH-supported medical research.