As a biomedical engineer and constituent, I urge you support a $2 billion increase in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for FY19. Congress must stop funding the government with continuing resolutions and do its job of appropriating funds for programs supported by the American people.
Even after recent modest spending increases, sequestration and budget caps have resulted in NIH having 20 percent less in buying power than a decade ago. This is short-sighted and bad economics as the government spends $25 on taking care of Americans for every dollar invested in finding a cure.
Scientific and medical innovation helped make our nation a global leader and generated tremendous economic benefits to our local university communities and our country. However, due to spending decisions make by Congress, the United States has now fallen out of the top 10 innovative countries. Basic research and medical innovation is critical to our nation. The modest increase given to NIH in FY17 allowed the agency to award $3.3 billion more in research grants than in FY15, translating into an economic impact of 50,467 more jobs and $8.08 billion more in economic activity. The NIH is truly an engine for both medical and economic progress and a key factor in efforts to return America to its leadership in an innovative global economy.
The bipartisan budget deal permits Congress to appropriate more funding for NIH but it can only become a reality if Congress actually passes appropriation bills and allocates increased funding to NIH medical research.
Please let me know if you support increasing NIH by $2 billion in FY19.