AbkowitzJanis A. Abkowitz, MDStatement from American Society of Hematology President Janis A. Abkowitz, MD, on Congressional agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff:

As the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, many of ASH’s more than 14,000 members heavily rely on funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct cutting-edge research that results in cures and better treatments for millions of patients with blood diseases and cancer around the world. Thanks to congressional action late New Year’s Day that delays the sequester for 2 months, our members’ work to develop cures for some of America’s most deadly diseases will not be interrupted today. The Society is also pleased that Congress has prevented the scheduled 27% cut to physician payment.

While the legislation passed protects the country from going over a fiscal cliff for the time being, the society is keenly aware that NIH and other nondefense discretionary programs are not safeguarded from future cuts and there is not a permanent solution for the flawed physician payment formula. Given this uncertain outlook, ASH will continue to urge lawmakers to provide balanced deficit reduction that does not further cut discretionary programs like NIH. The society will educate Congress about the value of biomedical research so that all members of the new 113th Congress understand that this is not the time to defund science and that discoveries made possible by investments in NIH generate incredible returns in the form of lives and jobs and importantly help secure America’s position as a global economic force.

For more information on ASH’s campaign to fight for NIH funding, visit www.hematology.org/fightnow

[Source: ASH]