The Trump administration’s plan to slash billions of dollars from medical and scientific research would cost thousands of jobs, and set medical advances in the U.S. back, according to experts.
Dr. Clifford Hudis, CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, told NBC News that “cutting the funding in this way will have devastating and generation-long effects. … [Medical research] is a fundamental driver of American economic strength and it is being compromised here. It’s a jobs program.”
Donald Trump’s budget proposal would cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health’s funding alone. NIH funds most medical research in the U.S., including cancer research. It would also most likely kill former Vice President Joe Biden’s “moonshot” initiative.
Luckily, cancer research enjoys wide, bipartisan support in Congress, therefore there is a glimmer of hope that Republicans would side with House Democrats to fight cuts to medical research.
In a moving moment in the Senate last year, Mitch McConnell proposed to rename a portion of the 21st Century Cures Act after then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau, who had died from brain cancer.
From NBC’s report:
“Congress has a long bipartisan history of protecting research investments. We encourage Congress to act in the nation’s best interest,” said Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
“We are grateful and encouraged that members of Congress have already spoken out about the importance of keeping NIH funding at healthy levels. It would be a tremendous disappointment if we backed away now from all the gains that have been made and all those that are within reach,” added David Arons, CEO of the National Brain Tumor Society.
Advancing medical research is not only a bipartisan issue — it’s also the smart, fiscally responsible way.
The American Heart Association projects that by 2035, up to 50% of Americans will have some form of heart disease. They predict the cost could be as high as $1.1 trillion.
American Heart Association President Steven Houser told NBC:
I thought we were, all of us, interested in improving the health of all Americans. We need to give more, not less.
If we don’t figure out how to slow stop or reverse these trends, we are going to pay way more. You can save $6 billion today and spend $1 trillion down the road.