Despite this era of deficit reduction, thanks to your help, Congress continues to see the value of the National Institutes of Health, our best hope to prevent and even cure heart disease and stroke, by providing it with a 0.8% funding increase over its last year’s funding level. Although the increase is smaller than we had worked for, our health, economy and ability to compete globally will still benefit from this enhanced support. The AHA will continue to advocate that Congress make NIH-funded research a top priority because it is an investment that will advance our mission and improve our economy by creating jobs in every state.
The failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to come up with a plan to reduce $1.2 trillion from the national deficit means that automatic across-the-board spending cuts will go into effect in 2013 to achieve these savings required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. This means that nearly every federal program, including the NIH, will be cut by more than 9% in just one year. A cut of this magnitude will have a devastating effect on the NIH, reducing their budget to its 2004 funding level and jeopardizing heart and stroke research and our country’s status as the world leader in biomedical research. Under this scenario, the NIH budget would be slashed by nearly $3 billion. In addition, the budget caps imposed in the 2011 Budget Control Act for FY 2013, which freeze overall discretionary spending, could result in even deeper cuts for the NIH. The AHA has been working with our coalitions to garner support to attempt to protect the NIH from this across-the-board cut. The AHA will need your help now more now than ever as we try to exempt the NIH from these reductions. Please watch your e-mail in boxes for action alerts.
Learn more about the other programs the AHA advocated for through the appropriations process: