Friday, October 22, 2010

Update on NIH funding

This is an item I'm simply passing along from the American Thoracic Society's newsletter. It's meant as an FYI for interested readers.

ATS Supports NIH and CDC Funding

This week, the ATS signed letters to support increased funding in 2011 for NIH research and CDC public health programs. The NIH effort, coordinated by the Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research, calls on congressional leaders to pass a $1 billion funding increase for the NIH as part of the Labor-Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations bill, rather than a year-long spending measure, called a continuing resolution, that would freeze funding at FY2010 levels. In the letter, the Ad-Hoc Group states, "A long-term, continuing resolution (CR) will slow research progress and squander invaluable scientific opportunities, to the detriment of our nation's health and our ability to maintain leadership in the global innovation economy." The letter lists a new initiative to identify biomarkers and drug targets for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as one of several examples of research opportunities that could be lost or delayed by a long-term continuing resolution. The proposed FY2011 House and Senate Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations bills would provide $32 billion for the NIH in FY2011, a 3.2% funding increase over the FY2010 level of $31 billion.

The ATS also joined a letter supporting increased funding for the CDC in FY2011. This letter, coordinated by the CDC Coalition, calls on the Congress to provide the highest possible funding levels for the agency's core public health programs and points to coalition's recommendation of $8.8 billion for CDC in FY2011. The House and Senate Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations bills differ slightly on CDC funding, with the House bill proposing $6.782 billion in funding and the Senate bill proposing $6.906 billion for the agency in FY2011. In the letter, the coalition states, "In addition to playing a key role in maintaining a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, the CDC Coalition believes that CDC programs will continue to play a crucial role in reducing healthcare costs and improving the public's health as Congress and the Administration move forward with implementation of the Affordable Care Act." The ATS will continue working to support the higher Senate funding level for CDC.


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