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ASH President Applauds Congress for Legislation to Raise Budget Caps

Society calls for increased public investment in critical biomedical research and public health programs

(WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019) — Today Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. The measure will avoid catastrophic cuts to essential discretionary spending programs and instead increase fiscal year (FY) 2020 non-defense discretionary spending by roughly $27 billion over current levels, which will allow funding increases for important public health programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) President Roy Silverstein, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin issued the following statement:

“ASH commends Congress for passing this measure to lift the budget caps previously placed on funding for biomedical research, public health, and other non-defense discretionary programs. This move paves the way for appropriators to designate funding increases for these programs.

NIH’s investment in research has formed the basis of virtually all developments in medicine, from cutting-edge curative gene therapies to more effective and less toxic cancer therapies. In fact, NIH funding has contributed to the discoveries of every new drug approved since 2010. NIH is not only important to the health of our nation, but also to our economic stability, contributing to billions of dollars in economic activity and creating close to half-a-million jobs.

The CDC conducts critical research to collect and disseminate information that helps direct resources to better care for sick and vulnerable Americans. The CDC has a vital data collection program that investigates the incidence and treatment progress of individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) for the purposes of identifying the research, training, and services drastically needed to improve outcomes for these individuals. To increase the quality and quantity of data collected, newly authorized data collection grants will need funding in 2020 and beyond.

We are encouraged to see Congressional support for these life-saving, science-advancing programs, and we call on the President of the United States to quickly sign the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, which would mark a necessary first step in allowing for increased funding for NIH, CDC, and other important federal programs.

ASH looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the administration to provide increased funding for NIH, CDC, and other federal programs that seek to improve the health of the nation.”

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal.

Leah Enser, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4927