President Trump released his FY 2018 Budget Blueprint March 17, 2017, beginning a conversation with Congress on how to fund federal policies and programs. This budget outlines, at a high level, which policies and programs this Administration prioritizes, and it describes the kind of country this Administration wants to lead. All budget documents are expressions of priorities because it is only through funding that politicians can demonstrate commitment to policies. Supporting a policy without funding the policy means the support is merely talk.
Unfortunately, this budget would hinder our national capacity to advance discovery and deploy better cures for patients, faster. The NIH cuts undermine the promises Congress made as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, and the dissolution of AHRQ severely hampers our collective ability to improve care delivery at a national level. It’s hard to see how programs like Precision Medicine, the Cancer Moonshot or the BRAIN Initiative can deliver on their potential with a 20 percent cut to NIH. Basic research done at the bench in universities across the country is interconnected to treatments delivered at the bedside. So, even targeted cuts at one end of the discovery spectrum will impact the whole.
AMIA is committed to working with the White House and with Congress to ensure they keep their commitments to fully funding research at the levels outlined in the Cures Act, and to ensure policymakers understand the vital role research at the NIH, FDA, CDC, and AHRQ plays in improving the health of all Americans. We believe that gains in efficiency and cost savings can be achieved without such drastic cuts, and we look forward to demonstrating the role informatics can play towards the goals of improved care, better outcomes and lower costs. AMIA will be hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill in early April for policymakers to learn about the role we play in advancing our nation’s healthcare priorities and what additional steps are needed to accelerate the promise of health IT.
Click here to read the President’s Budget Blueprint.