Health Advocacy Community Unites in Opposing Piecemeal Funding

On October 2, the House of Republicans passed miniature continuing resolutions (mini-CR) to fund parts of the government, including one that would fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, Senate Democrats have vowed not to support this “piecemeal” approach to funding the government.

Despite strong support for federal medical research funding, health advocacy organizations, including the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN), were united in opposing the idea of funding pieces of the government while others remained shut down. 

“A fully functioning government, which includes an end to across the board spending cuts known as sequestration, is critical to ensuring all government agencies that fund federal research are open and serving the American people,” said Amy Comstock Rick, CEO of PAN.

Further, the mini-CR would only guarantee a limited window of funding and does not address the budgetary constraints facing NIH.

In a Congressional Quarterly (CQ) article yesterday, Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, echoed that sentiment.

“On a micro level, we are concerned that an incremental approach to the shutdown neglects disruptions to lifesaving research funded by other federal agencies, as well as access to treatments in the pipeline at the Food and Drug Administration,” Woolley told CQ. “And because it is unlikely that this measure would pass both houses, it may simply delay funding for NIH. It’s time for both parties to put the American people before politics.”

Emily J. Holubowich, executive director of the Coalition for Health Funding, also told CQ that the group “does not support piecemeal patches to the shutdown.”

PAN remains united with other Washington, DC patient advocacy organizations to ensure biomedical research is a priority.

Read more about the mini-CRs in this Roll Call blog.

Date originally posted: October 4, 2013.