Washington, D.C., June 10, 2014 – American Heart Association President Mariell Jessup M.D. issued the following comments today on the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee’s proposed $605 million increase to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) FY 2015 budget:
“We strongly hope this modest boost to the NIH budget is the start of a new trend for federal research support. While it falls short of our recommendation, we greatly appreciate the efforts of Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Moran to move NIH away from the flat-funding cycle it’s been stuck in for several years.
The Senate Subcommittee’s action has provided a glimmer of hope for the one in three adults in the United States who are currently suffering from cardiovascular disease – our nation’s No. 1 and most costly killer. We are pleased that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will receive some of this additional support so that more research advances can benefit heart and stroke patients.
This slight two percent increase in funding could help support initiatives like spinal cord stimulation to help paralyzed stroke victims regain mobility, or using a patient’s own stem cells to improve heart function. If Congress can provide more federal dollars to the NIH in coming years, medical breakthroughs like these can offer hope for millions of Americans.
Robust support for the NIH also encourages young investigators to pursue research careers, supports valuable jobs, and preserves our position as the world leader in medical research. The association will continue to fight for adequate and sustained funding for the NIH to help Americans live free of heart disease and stroke.”