Statement from Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley on President Obama’s FY14 Budget Proposal
The president’s FY14 budget proposal offers a lifeline for medical research to replace sequestration’s damaging footprints. The budget includes $31.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health, as well as increases for the Food and Drug Administration and National Science Foundation. These increases would take our nation in the right direction, but we’re concerned that budget proposals from Congress – one from each of the House and Senate – unlike the president, fail to reverse sequestration. Sequestration, 10 years of across-the-board spending cuts, will drag our nation down from its leadership position in research and development as other countries aggressively ramp up investments, attracting American businesses and young scientists concerned that federal funding is on the decline, that the U.S. no longer prioritizes research. Policy makers must start acting in the best interests of this nation and tackle tax and entitlement reform to end sequestration.
Our nation has the most sophisticated medical research ecosystem in the world; yet our elected officials have ignored the short- and long-term consequences of dismantling it via sequestration – more deaths from preventable diseases, increased joblessness and soaring health care costs as more Baby boomers become afflicted with Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening, costly illnesses.
While the president’s budget increases federally-funded medical research, Congress and the administration must look more deeply into the consequences of dramatic cuts to Medicare Parts B and D, which cover crucial medical innovations including prescription drugs, biologics, and medical devices. If Medicare undervalues these preventative, diagnostic, and treatment tools, access and innovation will both suffer. The counterproductive effect of slowed innovation and access barriers could be increased hospital and other health care costs. We’re also disappointed that the president’s budget cuts funding for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention which is already operating on a severely depleted budget. Cuts to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality which identifies waste and duplication in our health care system while combating deadly medical errors are also a strategic mistake. Policymakers must tread carefully in the coming weeks to avoid decision-making that will endanger the health and economic prosperity of our country.
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Statement from Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley about AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy’s Departure
January 31, 2013
Dr. Carolyn Clancy has been a stalwart champion of medical and health services research during her decade-long leadership at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), stressing the importance of evidence in formulating policies to address gaps in care and improve health care delivery. She spearheaded innovative evidence-based programs to tackle some of our most challenging and complex healthcare issues. Under her leadership, AHRQ has conducted and funded research to ensure that patient care is as safe and efficient as possible, and launched the first annual report to Congress on health care disparities and health care quality. Clancy recognizes the importance of empowering patients with information to understand their health care needs and make informed decisions, and empowering health care leaders with the evidence needed to bring the right care to the right patient at the right time. She generously lent her time and expertise as a speaker at Research!America’s National Health Research Forums, joining leaders of other federal health agencies for panel discussions, and contributed to other initiatives. Hers is an important and lasting legacy.
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