The National Institute of Health is a focal point of health research in the United States, and in fact, the world. It is under attack by the Congressional House led budget cutters, and that is unfortunate.
We might think of the NIH as part of a bloated federal bureaucracy, but that would not be fair. We are not suggesting everything runs smoothly and efficiently but there are many other national bureaus to examine before turning our eyes on NIH.
The agency has existed since 1887 when it was first established as the Agency for Hygiene. It has grown over the past one hundred years to include such important components as the National Cancer Institute, National Institute for Aging and some two dozen other note worthy research centers. Currently it provides about one-third of the total funding for biomedical research in the United States today.
A budget cut would be devastating…and not economically sound. Funds spent today on research can discover a cure for chronic or terminal diseases and thus save many times that expenditure in future health care treatment.
There are many good targets in the Federal Government for cost savings. In our opinion, the NIH isn’t one of them.