AADR joined the American Dental Association and the American Dental Education Association in a letter to Congress that outlined the oral health impacts of the impending budget sequester of federal agencies and programs. The letter was directed specifically to members of the Congressional Oral Health Caucus, appropriators, and senior leadership in the House and Senate.
The groups highlighted anticipated problems such as a diminished ability to attract much needed dental specialists to the Indian Health Service if funding is dramatically reduced, decreased ability of dental schools to provide safety-net services to the public as is commonly done, and a loss of breakthroughs leading to enhanced oral and systemic health stemming from reduced grants from the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Full ADA-ADEA-AADR Letter to Congress
The NIH has issued a notice (NOT-OD-13-043) outlining its plan for implementation of the budget sequester that will be set into motion this Friday. Directors of Institutes and Centers will have some latitude in achieving their budget reduction targets. However, across-the-board, it can be expected that: (1.) the final FY13 funding levels of non-competing continuation grants will be reduced, and (2.) fewer competing awards will be made. Given that the federal government is currently operating with temporary funds, also known as a continuing resolution, non-competing continuation awards for FY13 will continue to be funded at a reduced level of 90% (of the value indicated on the most recent Notice of Award) until final appropriations for the year are enacted. As sequestration begins to be implemented, program officers will contact current grantees. NIDCR is expected to lose $21 million in FY13 alone if sequestration is fully implemented.
NIH Notice NOT-OD-13-043
For many lawmakers, and much of the general public, the across-the-board budget cuts that will be set into motion this Friday (see Budget Control Act of 2011, American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) are somewhat of an abstract concept. In an effort to bring increased attention and pressure to budget sequestration, the White House has released state-level programmatic impact statements. The fact sheets provide only a sample of the reductions ahead. However, cuts to research are included in the Nationwide Impacts section of each fact sheet.
White House Fact Sheets on Sequestration Impact (By State)
- NIH research – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be forced to delay or halt vital scientific projects and make hundreds of fewer research awards. Since each research award supports up to seven research positions, several thousand personnel could lose their jobs. Many projects would be difficult to pursue at reduced levels and would need to be cancelled, putting prior year investments at risk. These cuts would delay progress on the prevention of debilitating chronic conditions that are costly to society and delay development of more effective treatments for common and rare diseases affecting millions of Americans.
- NSF research – The National Science Foundation (NSF) would issue nearly 1,000 fewer research grants and awards, impacting an estimated 12,000 scientists and students and curtailing critical scientific research.
NIH is currently seeking proposals for its Summer Research Program, which provides research experiences for high school and college students as well as for science teachers during the summer break. NIDCR is 1 of 8 NIH Institutes participating in the program. Continue reading
President Obama delivers latest plea for a budget deal
Today, AADR joined other groups — representing communities impacted by the across-the-board cuts scheduled to take place next Friday — at the White House to hear from the President on the imminent budget crisis. President Obama, with first-responders standing close behind, listed some of the many detrimental consequences of a sequester of the budget. He stated that the scheduled cuts would eviscerate federal programs in education and medical research, as well as result in lost jobs for emergency responders, and decrease military readiness. The President called on Congress to — at a minimum — pass a smaller package of spending reductions and tax reforms, which would delay the impact of sequestration and allow for the development of an alternative.
While the White House event did not signal any positive developments in the budget standoff, it did refocus the spotlight on the March 1st cuts, which many in Washington have come to view as inevitable. It is increasingly likely that Congress will fail to develop an alternative to sequestration by March 1st, setting the cuts into motion and possibly increasing the will of lawmakers to forge a compromise as the public begins to pay closer attention.
A few talking points on NIH are offered, should you wish to engage legislators on the need to preserve investments in biomedical research…
NIH Importance: NIH is the global leader of biomedical research, earning the envy of the world and playing an indispensable role in the growth of the U.S. economy. Every dollar in research funding is estimated to result in more than two dollars of business activity and economic output. In the last year alone, NIH research resulted in more than 57.8 billion dollars in economic output. NIH supports hundreds of thousands of jobs; in 2012 alone, NIH supported more than 402,000 jobs, 85% of which were at more than 2,500 universities and institutions throughout the country. Continue reading
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has issued a call for individuals to serve on its Advisory Panels. There are four panels including: the Advisory Panel on Addressing Disparities; Advisory Panel on Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options; Advisory Panel on Improving Healthcare Systems; and Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement. Members of the AADR community are encouraged to apply to these positions. Each of these groups are comprised of patients, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, and other health care stakeholders, and are charged with assisting PCORI with identify research priorities as well as refining the Institute’s research project agenda. Continue reading
The White House has released a fact sheet that provides some examples of the impact that budget sequestration would have on health, education, and economic growth. Of particular note to the AADR community:
- Cuts to research and innovation: In order to compete for the jobs of the future and to ensure that the next breakthroughs to find cures for critical diseases are developed right here in America, we need to continue to lead the world in research and innovation. Most Americans with chronic diseases don’t have a day to lose, but under a sequester progress towards cures would be delayed and several thousand researchers could lose their jobs. Up to 12,000 scientists and students would also be impacted.
- NIH research: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be forced to delay or halt vital scientific projects and make hundreds of fewer research awards. Since each research award supports up to seven research positions, several thousand personnel could lose their jobs. Many projects would be difficult to pursue at reduced levels and would need to be cancelled, putting prior year investments at risk. These cuts would delay progress on the prevention of debilitating chronic conditions that are costly to society and delay development of more effective treatments for common and rare diseases affecting millions of Americans.
The health and research advocacy community is looking for compelling individual examples of how the threat of budget sequestration is already having an impact. If you have a story to share, reply to the comments link or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
White House Fouse Sheet: Examples of How the Sequester Would Impact Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security
**Update (Feb. 8th)** AADR members joined several other health associations in a Day of Action on February 7th. AADR members sent 111 letters to Members of Congress during the event. One participant reported receiving a telephone call from the office of her Member of Congress within 24 hours of sending a letter on reductions to the NIH. Nonetheless, every day calls for action. It’s not too late to reach out to your Members of Congress with thoughts on the approaching budget reductions. Visit the AADR Action Center today!
On Thursday February 7th, individuals and organizations from around the nation will join in a Day of Action intended to help Members of Congress remember that strategic federal investments in health and education are critical components of economic growth. Members of the AADR community can either (1.) send an action alert through the organization’s Action Center, or (2.) call the DC offices of their Representatives and Senators.
The efforts of the oral health community, when joined with similar actions from those within partner organizations, will send a strong and clear message to Congress as the nation moves ever closer to the deep across-the-board budget cuts that will take effect on March 1st.
AADR Action Center – Day of Action Alert
Today, President Obama communicated to reporters gathered in the White House Press Briefing Room a desire to delay the impending budget sequestration until the beginning of Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013). During the brief remarks he argued that the scheduled across-the-board cuts would deliver a considerable and lasting blow to the economy. The President did not stray far from his previous calls for a balanced approach to deficit reduction. The approach he seeks employs an overhaul of the tax code to close loopholes for the wealthy and corporations as well as targeted spending cuts. What was new in the statement provided today included an acknowledgement that Congress would not likely achieve such a comprehensive plan in advance of the current March 1st implementation date for a sequester of the budget, and that a smaller deal will be necessary to delay sequestration for a few months. Continue reading