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ADA, others ask Congress to oppose proposed NIH cuts

April 19, 2017

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The Friends of National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Association is asking Congress to oppose the Trump Administration's budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, which recommends a 20 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health overall budget as well as $1.2 billion in cuts to FY 2017 in order to pay for an increase in defense and the wall along the Mexican border.  

In an April 19 letter to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, the 40 supporters of FNIDCR, including the ADA, said, "these proposals set a dangerous precedent."

The letter also pointed out that the budget proposal contradicts previous support Congress has shown the NIH, in particular the 21st Century Cures Act, which received overwhelmingly bipartisan support when it passed in 2016.

"A reorganization at this time would seriously disrupt ongoing research and slow progress towards finding cures and more effective treatment options that will lead to better health for everyone," the supporters wrote, adding,  "FNIDCR is steadfastly committed to supporting the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the unique, vital and innovative role it plays in funding research to create less invasive, cost-effective and more efficient ways to improve oral health and lessen the economic burden dental, oral and craniofacial diseases and conditions place on Americans."

The supporters urged members of the committee to continue supporting NIH and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research by providing the agencies $36.1 billion and $452 million in 2018 — increases of about $2 billion and $22 million, respectively.

"Dentists, researchers, students and the American public rely on the research funded by the NIDCR," FNIDCR wrote. "For example, research in community water fluoridation has saved the American public at least $38 for every $1 invested. Increasing funding for NIDCR is the only way to ensure that these life-changing initiatives continue.

Follow all of the ADA's advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.