Below is an article that was posted by the National Journal on Tuesday
on the omnibus bill that will likely pass Congress. Take note of the reference to NIH funding.
“It is what we are spending tax dollars on, and where restraint is
foolish and counterproductive. Funding for the National Institutes of
Health is higher than it would have been under the sequester, but
significantly lower than it was under Bush, and way lower than it
should be if we want to spare the society the immense costs and pain
that come from debilitating diseases, and if we want to preserve our
superb scientific infrastructure and brainpower. This one is a simple,
compelling cost-benefit analysis: Most basic medical research is
solely or largely funded by government, and it saves lives and reduces
long-term medical costs, while the return on investment is high.”
Triumph of Omnibus Bill Is Small Pleasure Indeed
The deal reflects a myopia among lawmakers who fail to see where
federal spending brings big benefits to economic growth and society’s
By Norm Ornstein
I am pleased that finally Congress has fond its way to pass something without shutting down the government. However, is what was passed really in our best interest?
When you look at the bill’s discretionary spending, when considered in real terms, the proposed appropriations are 10% less than they were in the George W. Bush presidency. I know that for some this is great news, real cuts in government spending were realized, but at what real cost to people? Not to make this post the magnet of too many negative comments I will constrain my comments solely to the funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH), a governmental agency that has a direct affect on anyone reading this blog (or you would probably not be reading this blog).
What tends to get lost isn’t how much money we spend, but on what we spend our money. This Omnibus bill will increase the funds to the NIH over what they would have received under the sequester, but it still is significantly lower than under the Bush presidency. I would describe this as a little good and a lot of bad. This lower level will inflict significant pain and suffering on countless people, people like us!
We should be working to find ways to spare society of unnecessary pain and suffering from debilitating illness, including cancer. We need to preserve our superb scientific infrastructure and brainpower, actually I am appalled that I am saying preserve and not grow our scientific infrastructure and brainpower!!
Hey people, government funds most basic medical research. This research is vital to saving lives, improving the quality of life and healing a part of the world that is broken.
Oh, by the way, based on the current direction we are heading even deeper and more damaging sequester cuts are set to resume in two years!
Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.