It’s worse than I thought

A while back, I mentioned how the budget proposed in the President’s budget for the NIH for fiscal year 2007 was flat. It turns out that, for those of us in the field of cancer research, it’s worse than that. Making the rounds at our cancer institute is an e-mail from one of the higher-ups, which points out the following sobering facts about the budget for the National Cancer Institute (the FY 2007 proposed budget for HHS can be found here, particularly page 34):

  • The President’s budget proposal submitted to Congress will keep funding for the National Institutes of Health flat at $28.587 billion.
  • Worse, although the overall NIH budget will remain essentially flat, under the proposal, the NCI’s budget will fall by $40 million, to $4.754 billion next year.
  • This proposed cut to the NCI budget is the single largest budget cut at NIH.
  • If this cut stands, the NCI”s budget will have dropped by $72 million over the period covering fiscal year 2005 to 2007.

Thus, the NCI budget for 2007 will represent not just a failure to keep up with inflation but a real cut in actual dollars for the second year in a row.

And yet we can still manage to afford over $120 million a year to fund the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and a $140 million increase in the budget for the Office of the Director.