I was disappointed to learn that the president’s first budget proposal includes deep cuts to medical research. If approved by Congress, the cuts would represent 19 percent of the National Institutes of Health’s total budget and would likely result in a $1 billion cut to the National Cancer Institute. As a cancer survivor and advocate I am worried the reduction in NIH funding of $5.8 billion would represent a significant setback for millions of people like me.
We are at the cusp of tremendous breakthroughs in cancer research, making it the wrong time to turn back the clock on progress against a disease that is expected to kill 43,870 Floridians this year. Less than six months ago Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act. This bill represented lawmakers' overwhelming bipartisan commitment to the promise and necessity of medical research to our country's future. Now is the time for Congress to capitalize on that investment rather than reverse course by drastically curtailing NIH research funding.
For the last 50 years every major medical breakthrough can be traced back to investments in the NIH. Because of these investments, there are more than 15.5 million American cancer survivors alive today, including more than 1.3 million here in Florida.
On behalf of all those affected by cancer, I urge Congress to reject these steep budget cuts and, instead, continue their critical investment in life-saving, innovative research and cancer prevention. Join me in the fight by joining the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. For information, visit acscan.org.
Bradenton and Holmes Beach