Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saving Lives AND Saving Money

If President Bush wants to remain at all relevant and leave any kind of positive legacy in his last year in office, he could put whatever muscle he has left in service of restoring the federal government’s commitment to medical and health research.

Early in his first term, Bush recommended budgets that strengthened research through the National Institutes of Health. However, since then, he has proposed budgets that undercut decades of sustained investment in research which has drastically reduced early deaths from heart disease and stroke and even reduced cancer deaths. In his final State of the Union speech, he can show the nation a renewed commitment to this vital public priority.

While there seems to be universal support for a short-term economic stimulus of $150 billion, it is an increase for research funding that will help guarantee our longer-term growth. Research ensures our ability to compete in the global marketplace and helps fuel local economies all over the country.
Yet for five years, the federal research budget has been flat. When federal funding for research stalls, private research spending ultimately stalls, too, resulting in a downward spiral that costs lives, costs jobs, and deters smart young people from choosing careers in science.

For facts, figures and analysis of how medical research saves lives and saves money, visit Research!America.

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