Washington, D.C., —Today the president introduced his proposed 2018 budget, which includes deep cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Medicaid. If approved by Congress, the cuts would decrease the NIH budget by 21 percent, decrease the NCI budget by 21 percent, cut the CDC’s chronic disease program by nearly 20 percent and reduce Medicaid funding by more than $600 billion.
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“Cutting the NIH budget by $7.1 billion would seriously jeopardize the development of new, potentially life-saving cancer diagnostic tools, prevention methods and treatments. It would also risk eroding the basic scientific research that, when combined with private investment, spurs American medical innovation and economic development. Most specifically, the cuts would completely undermine the increases for research secured in the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act meant to accelerate progress against diseases like cancer.
“According to a poll released Monday, an overwhelming 90 percent of voters believe federal funding for medical research is ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important and 75 percent want Congress to significantly increase NIH funding. More than two-thirds oppose the cuts as proposed in the president’s previously released ‘skinny’ budget.
“Cancer research is on the verge of significant new breakthroughs that could help save lives from a disease that continues to kill more than 1,650 Americans each day. Just last week, the American Cancer Society released a report showing one in every five adult cancer diagnoses and two of every three childhood cancer diagnoses are considered rare. These patients and their families depend on the promise and progress of continued research investment to develop new therapies that will help to get and keep their specific diagnoses in check.
“In addition, cutting the CDC chronic disease budget by nearly 20 percent threatens to substantially weaken vital tobacco prevention and cessation programs as well as important efforts to address nutrition, physical activity and obesity—all significant cancer risk factors.
“The results of these cuts combined with the more than $600 billion reduction for Medicaid funding, could leave millions of Americans without access to meaningful health care and prevention services.
“To date, the federal government has played a critical role in our ability to reduce the cancer burden. Such drastic budget reductions would have the potential to devastate the nation’s standing as the global leader in cutting-edge medical research and scientific discovery, hamper progress in detecting cancer early when it’s least expensive to treat and most survivable and severely restrict low-income patients’ access to critical safety-net health care coverage through Medicaid.
“On behalf of all those affected by cancer, ACS CAN urges lawmakers to preserve their bipartisan commitment to research and prevention and reject these cuts when crafting the FY 2018 budget.”