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Budget ceasefire helps the world at U. S. research expense

The ceasefire in the Washington budget wars prompted in part by upcoming elections has improved the funding of health programs in other countries while reducing the funding to health research in the United States according to a March 27, 2014, policy report by Global Health Technologies Coalition, a coalition of nonprofit groups involved in health research in the United States and in majority funded by the federal government.

Aerial photograph from the north of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center (Building 10) on the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland campus.
NIH As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

The report notes that the bipartisan agreement to end sequestration has resulted in giving more money to health care programs in other countries than it has to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal research programs. The funding for the NIH in 2014 is almost $950 million less than it was in 2012.

The report supports the passage of the Twenty-first Century Global Health Technology Act that would increase FDA funding by $4.7 billion, allocate $32 billion for the NIH, and provide $10.4 billion for global health programs.

A more proactive research environment that serves the United States first is the presumed aim of the report but one has to consider the source of the request. Non-profits not only provide research but can also lobby Congress for passage of laws that support the non-profits funding.

One might suggest an independent oversight group that is not involved with any research organization be established to monitor the research projects that get funded and monitor the actual results produced by those research programs as a proactive solution to funding losses to research.

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