President Donald Trump’s plan to cut billions of dollars in funding to medical and scientific research agencies would cost the country countless jobs, stall medical advances and threaten America’s status as the world leader in science and medicine, advocates said Thursday.
“Cutting the funding in this way will have devastating and generation-long effects,” said Dr. Clifford Hudis, CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which represents cancer specialists.
“[Medical research] is a fundamental driver of American economic strength and it is being compromised here,” Hudis told NBC News. “It’s a jobs program.”
Various associations communicated stun and frustration at Trump’s spending proposition, which includes $54 billion in protection spending yet would slice about $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health, which finances most essential medicinal research in the nation, and also dispense with altogether many different organizations and projects.
It would cut the general Health and Human Services division spending plan by 18 percent, including the 20 percent spending diminishment at NIH, and reassign cash from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to states.
Most growth medications get their begin in the fundamental research supported by the NIH and regularly done in NIH labs.
“The targeted therapies, the immunotherapies, the conventional chemotherapy drugs — all of these things have roots in the NIH,” Hudis said.
One case of the revelations the NIH and NIH-subsidized scientists make: Finding the growth executing properties of trees, or ocean wipes, and forming them into exacerbates that are then authorized to pharmaceutical organizations to create. Organizations seldom do such essential, dangerous research.
The American Lung Association urged Congress to ignore Trump’s budget blueprint and increase funding.
“Congress must reject this budget and start anew with a balanced approach that protects vital health programs in HHS and at EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency),” Lung Association CEO Harold Wimmer said.
American Heart Association President Steven Houser said he was shocked by the budget proposal.
“I thought we were, all of us, interested in improving the health of all Americans,” he said. “We need to give more, not less.”
The AHA projects that by 2035, up to half of all Americans will have heart disease.
“The predicted cost is $1.1 trillion,” Houser told NBC News.
“If we don’t figure out how to slow stop or reverse these trends, we are going to pay way more,” he added. “You can save $6 billion today and spend $1 trillion down the road.”
There are a few bright spots for health in the Trump budget proposal, however. It appears to create a rapid response fund that CDC, NIH and other infectious disease experts have been begging for.
“The Budget also creates a new Federal Emergency Response Fund to rapidly respond to public health outbreaks, such as Zika Virus Disease,” the budget proposal reads. It doesn’t give details, but CDC and NIH renewed their requests for such a fund after a nine month-long fight with Congress last year over funding Zika response efforts.
It also increases medical spending for the Department of Veterans Affairs, increasing the overall VA budget by 6 percent to nearly $79 billion. That includes $4.6 billion for VA health care “to improve patient access and timeliness of medical care services for over nine million enrolled veterans,” the budget plan reads.
“This funding would enable the Department to provide a broad range of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services to enrolled veterans, including services that are uniquely related to veterans’ health and special needs.”