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Medicine Politics Science

One more chance to support the NIH

Sadly, unlike my post a couple of hours ago, this is not an April Fools jest.

Evolgen previously reported on the success of the Specter-Harkin Amendment in the Senate to change a completely flat National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget containing actual real cuts to the budget of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to one with a modest increase in fiscal year 2007. Both the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and Genetics Society of America both weighed in when the budget was sent to the House in order to garner support in committee for adding an amendment similar to the Specter-Harkin Amendment to the Department of Health and Human Services budget. Now Evolgen and The Daily Transcript update the story.

Apparently, the effort to add this amendment to the HHS budget has failed, with the House Budget Committee electing to go with a version of the HHS budget that resembles the President’s meager budget. Our next chance to alter this outcome comes next week, when the House will consider the HHS budget. Rep. Michael Castle’s (R-DE) is planning to introduce a bill to amend the budget resolution on the House Floor to include $7 billion the Senate added for health and education programs to the FY 2007 budget. I join Evolgen in urging everyone to let their representatives know that they support this amendment.

Evolgen tells how. You can locate the contact information for your Representative here.

I plan on contacting mine, but I know from previous experience that he already strongly supports such a measure. Consequently, my show of support will just be preaching to the choir. What’s really needed is for people living in districts whose Representatives oppose or are equivocal about this amendment to make their voices heard. In fact, it just occurred to me. Next week just happens to be the week that the yearly meeting of the AACR, and it just so happens that the AACR is meeting in Washington, DC this year. Thousands of biomedical researchers are even now descending upon Washington for the meeting, and I plan on joining them tomorrow morning. Letters, phone calls, and FAXes are good and effective, but there are few things more effective than to pay a personal visit to the office of your Representative to make your views known. If you’re going to the AACR this week, you’ll never have a better opportunity to influence your Representative to vote favorably on the Castle Amendment to modestly increase the HHS and NIH budgets.

Imagine the effect of hundreds or even thousands of scientists making personal visits to their Representatives’ offices.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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