Trump proposed budget cuts to National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and Medicaid
Kathy LaTour is a breast cancer survivor, author of The Breast Cancer Companion and co-founder of CURE magazine. While cancer did not take her life, she has given it willingly to educate, empower and enlighten the newly diagnosed and those who care for them.
We all know that there is a cure for cancer, and it’s called money. Over the past two decades the funds allocated for cancer research by the government have been consistently increased but not nearly enough for researchers to spend the time and hours in the lab to beat this stealthy disease – that now kills thousands of Americans a day.
That is the Titanic going down daily. Two days of cancer loss are the equivalent to the number of people we lost when the twin towers fell. Cancer kills men, women and children without discriminating.
And now Trump wants to severely cut funding to federal agencies that support biomedical research and Medicaid for Fiscal Year 2018, including 20 percent proposed funding cut for the national Institutes of Health (NIH), more cuts proposed cut for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and reducing Medicaid funding by more than $800 billion.
“Such extreme reductions to programs that are critical to research will fundamentally damage our nation’s progress in treating patients and will irreversibly harm our nation’s already fragile biomedical research infrastructure,” says Daniel F. Hayes, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in a statement released this week. ASCO, the largest organization of its kind in the world, represents some 40,000 oncology professionals.
The cuts come at a time when the outlook for cancer patients has improved to the point that there are 15 million cancer survivors in the U.S. compared to seven million in 1991 and three million in 1971. Research has allowed treatments to become targeted to a patient’s cancer type, genetics, age and health status.
Government funding provides the basic research that are the keys to many of the findings about cancer’s genetics and biology.
Federal research funding also provides economic strength and scientific leadership, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and contributing $60 billion in economic activity annually, according to facts included in an ASCO release.
“Biomedical research is one of our nation’s best investments, and we urge Congress to build on the momentum they have created and provide robust increases for NIH in FY 2018,” Hayes says. “Our biomedical research infrastructure is vital to sustaining the health and safety of our citizens. If allowed to crumble, it will take decades to rebuild.”
What can be done about this? The American people need to raise an outcry that their lives are more valuable than a wall.
Write your elected officials and let them know how you feel. That not only should Trump not cut funding, he needs to increase it.