NIH Investment via Stimulus Package

This article was published in the Scientific American from Feb. 6, 2009:

The Senate this week okayed an amendment to the massive stimulus package to fork over an extra $6.5 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), bringing funding for the fed’s biomedical research arm to $10 billion over two years.

“Including funding for the NIH in the bill will provide needed economic stimulus, enable long-term economic growth and save lives,” co-sponsor Sen. Arlen Specter (R–Pa.) said in a statement. “The National Institutes of Health have been starved recently. This increase in funding will enable the [NIH] to continue to produce remarkable achievements in scientific advances.”

According to Specter, the monies would be divvied up among NIH agencies in amounts proportional to their fiscal year 2008 funding. He said that economists estimate that the additional funds could lead to 70,000 new jobs in the health industry over two years.

“To fix and modernize our economy, we need to do the same with our health care system,” said co-sponsor Sen. Tom Harkin (D–Iowa). “This investment will allow the NIH to continue to be the premier biomedical research agency in the world. It is vital for the Congress to support our scientists as they search for treatments and cures that could provide hope to millions of Americans.”

I absolutely agree with the philosophy and logistical analysis proposed by the Senate regarding their decision to support the NIH. It is in-dubiously important to maintain the healthcare component of society to ensure that the quality of life for the individuals within a nation are complacent.

It becomes especially important to maintain the integrity of the healthcare system and its medical counterparts, such as research and human development services, during times where the national economic status is sub-prime, a topic that is largely responsible for the current recession.

I believe that the stimulus bill should be designed to boost not only the nation’s economic status, but also the spirits. Too often the socioeconomic classes at the bottom of the social spectrum, a.k.a. the poor, fail to receieve any promise or support to make a better life for themselves. The rich sustain themselves off of liquidated assets and the evils of what some call “corporatocracy,” and simultaneously the middle class barely stays afloat on a raft that only accommodates one person.

In order to fix this nation, the greatest leaders in the world along with every international agency, including the World Health Organization, and their representatives must reach a compromise that forms free land for all, medical science and treatment for those in need, and cultural and social understanding to mitigate corrosion of the one organ that represents empathy: the heart. It’s not going to be an easy task, however, with every investment to organizations like the NIH, which will hopefully bring many good discoveries and health improvements to the world, the revolutionary road gets paved a little more and the light is starting to shine the way.

Assistance from stimulus proposals such as this are also necessary in times when the economy is in a stale situation. The main reason for this is that taxes reveal a large percentage of the healthcare system’s revenue. Thus, bad economic situation= bad profit margins, much like the newspaper industry today. These acts are indeed blessings that MUST be cherished and appreciated by the people of this country instead of being ignorant or bigoted.

how_we_pay

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~ by jrn320afigueroa on February 8, 2009.

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