On April 24th, representatives from members of the Coalition for Health Funding gathered on Capitol Hill to visit with Members of Congress. As a member of CHF, Research!America participated in these informational visits with offices of freshman Congressmen and Senators. The theme of the day was “health is everywhere,” and advocates sought to communicate the important role of health and research in the lives of Americans and in our economy.
During the meetings, advocates spoke about how adequate funding for agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and others can help address soaring health care costs including Medicaid and Medicare expenses.
Based on the feedback from the offices of Representatives Andy Barr (R- KY-6) and Bill Foster (D-IL-11), there is bipartisan support for medical research and public health initiatives as valuable investments of federal funds. We are thrilled to hear that new members of Congress understand that research and public health provide a vital service to their districts by creating high-paying jobs and improving the quality of lives for their constituents.
I participated in meetings with offices representing districts in Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and New York. I shared my story as a representative of Research!America and as just one of the thousands of young scientists who are unable to continue their important biomedical research due to cuts in federal research funding. As a scientist advocating for the future of my own career, I stressed my own personal desire to give back to the American people after being the recipient of NIH funding during my doctoral training.
–Megan S. Kane, PhD. Communications Intern
I was able to meet with offices representing congressmen from Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Two of the Congressmen had previously attended Research!America’s briefing with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, so it was great to be able to speak to their staff further about the importance of funding for biomedical research. During the meetings, I focused on the role of scientific research in the innovation pipeline as well as its ability to drive economic growth and cut healthcare costs. My group from the Coalition for Health Funding additionally discussed a broad spectrum of issues in health and spoke to the critical role that non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs play in public health and disease prevention. It was clear that members from both sides of the aisle recognize the need for investment in health research.
-Anurupa Dev, PhD. Science Policy Fellow