In a Letter to Budget Negotiators, Casey Highlights Economic Consequences
As Congress addresses the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on budget negotiators to protect funding for medical research. During a conference call, Casey underscored the fact that Pennsylvania is one of the nation's leading recipients of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding which is crucial for jobs across the Commonwealth.
The full text of Senator Casey's letter is below.
March 13, 2013
Dear Chairman Murray and Ranking Member Sessions:
As you and your colleagues prepare the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget, I respectfully request that you maintain robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I believe that it is essential to continue support for medical research because of the potential health benefits for all Americans, and the importance of ensuring that our Nation remains a global leader in the field of medical research.
As you know, the NIH is our country's premier institution for medical research. It offers our best hope for treating or curing debilitating diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and so many other illnesses that American families battle every day. It is also our best hope for containing the increasing health care costs associated with aging populations. A large portion of the projected increase in health care expenditures in the coming decades can be anticipated due to demographic changes and the escalating costs associated with many medical conditions and chronic diseases.
NIH research also has a significant economic impact, directly supporting hundreds of thousands of researchers, assistants and other lab and administrative staff, while indirectly supporting even more jobs in the fields of pharmaceutical and medical device research, development and manufacturing. As result of sequestration, NIH funding is being cut by approximately $1.123 billion, which will lead to a loss of over 20,000 jobs, including over 1,200 jobs in Pennsylvania. Failure to continue robust funding for the NIH would have an even more devastating effect on our economy.
If we are to improve the health of Americans and the quality of their lives, we must continue to invest in areas like biomedical research that have the potential to save money in the future, improve the lives of Americans, and offer an economic return for our Nation. I urge you to consider the tremendous benefits of sustaining investment in the NIH and ask you to remember our Nation's role as a world leader in biomedical research and the impact this research has on patients as your Committee crafts the FY 2014 Budget. Investing in research today will yield cures and therapies for patients tomorrow.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator