American Society of Hematology

NIH To Receive 8.2 Percent Cut if Sequester Implemented January 2, 2013; Take Action Today by Joining ASH's Campaign

Published on: September 14, 2012

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a report mandated by the Sequestration Transparency Act [STA, P.L. 112-155] outlining the impact of sequestration (across the board cuts to be implemented January 2, 2013 unless the Congress passes alternative legislation). The 394 page report is available on the White House website.

OMB notes the estimates and classifications in the report are preliminary, and "if the sequestration were to occur, the actual results would differ based on changes in law and ongoing legal, budgetary, and technical analysis."

Under the assumptions required by the STA, the sequestration would result in a 9.4 percent reduction in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding. The sequestration would also impose cuts of 2.0 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt nondefense mandatory programs, and 10.0 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs.

For NIH, the report indicates that $30.711 billion would be subject to the 8.2 percent sequester, equal to $2.518 billion, and an additional $150 million in mandatory budget authority (for diabetes research) would be subject to a 7.6 percent cut, equal to $11 million. The total cut to NIH would equal $2.529 billion.

In discussing the impact of the sequester, OMB notes, "The National Institutes of Health would have to halt or curtail scientific research, including needed research into cancer and childhood diseases."

OMB notes "the report leaves no question that the sequestration would be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments, and core government functions." And the Administration again calls on Congress "to enact a balanced plan that achieves at least the level of deficit reduction agreed to in the BCA, and cancels the sequestration."

It is critical that all Representatives and Senators hear from researchers about the impact that inadequate funding has on medical research and the need for them to take a balanced approach to reducing the deficit that doesn't further cut NIH and other core federal programs. To take action, please visit the ASH Advocacy Center and join ASH's campaign by sending a letter to your Congressmen. 

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