Sequestration: What You Need to Know and What You Can Do
What is sequestration?
The sequester is a set of automatic across-the-board spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion spread out over the next nine years. The cuts will be divided equally among defense spending and domestic programs.
How will the sequester affect the field of hematology?
Most significantly, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will see more than $1 billion in cuts over the rest of this fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2013, and additional cuts over the next eight years, 2014-2021. While sequestration’s impact may not be felt all at once or immediately, these cuts – layered on top of the existing lack of consistency and predictability in the level of medical research funding – will be devastating to biomedical research, will delay or halt vital scientific projects, and will eliminate hundreds of research awards and jobs. Each NIH Institute and Center will determine its approach to meeting the new budget level, including, but not limited to, not issuing continuation awards, negotiating a reduction in the scope of awards, or delaying or cancelling new grants. Additionally, as of April 1 Medicare has reduced payment to doctors and hospitals by 2 percent.
What can you do?
Make sure Members of Congress understand that there should be no further cuts to biomedical research funding. Sign up with the ASH Grassroots Network to advocate for hematology research. You can also take action now by writing your U.S. Senators and Representative. ASH’s Advocacy Center has made the process very simple; all you have to do is enter your contact information and click “send.” Lastly, you can stay informed with the most up-to-date information by following ASH on Facebook and Twitter.