[TAKE ACTION] 60 Second Advocacy: Support Medical Research

ImageWith the recent enactment of the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, federal funding for medical research continues to erode even further, sharply curtailing the progress in life-saving research during a time of enormous scientific and medical opportunities.

It is critical that we continue the vigorous pursuit of future breakthroughs in science, health and medicine that are supported through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve the entire continuum of patient care, from prevention, early detection and diagnosis, to treatment and long-term survivorship.  Further, the funding provided to the NIH does more than just save lives – it fuels the U.S. economy and creates jobs in our community.

Today, millions of Americans from across the country will come together to Rally for Medical Research – a unified call to our nation’s policymakers to make life-saving medical research funding a national priority.  This call to action will raise awareness about the critical need for a sustained investment in the NIH to improve health, spur more progress, inspire more hope and save more lives.

As someone who cares deeply about these issues, please make your voice heard today. Click here to urge your lawmakers to work together in a bipartisan fashion to preserve the nation’s investment in medical research and the health of the American people.  Sustained funding for the NIH is one of the most important investments our country can make, but our ability to do so is contingent on a strong, unwavering commitment from congress.

Our message is very simple: Medical research funding must be a national priority – we cannot impede the remarkable progress that continues to save and improve the lives of millions of our nation’s citizens.

After you send letters to your legislators, help spread the word by asking your friends and family to join you in support of these vital programs. Thank you for continuing to join us in this important fight!

Sample letter to Representatives & Senators:

Dear [Decision Maker],

As an advocate for breast cancer patients, survivors and families affected by the disease, I am writing to urge you to maintain Congress’ long-term commitment to funding medical research.

Medical research funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, has been a driving force behind many decades of advances that have improved the health of people in every corner of America. Thanks in part to NIH-funded research, Americans are living longer, healthier lives and advances that were once unimaginable have been achieved and have opened a world of unprecedented opportunities for science, medicine and health.

We can do much more with a robust and sustained investment in medical research. Americans are getting older and chronic diseases, like breast cancer, consume the vast majority of our health care dollars. We can meet these challenges head-on, but in order to do so, medical research must be a strong national priority.

The funding provided to the NIH does more than just save lives it fuels the U.S. economy and creates jobs in our communities. NIH funding supports research by 325,000 scientists at more than 3000 universities, research institutions, small businesses and other entities across the nation. In 2010 alone, the federal investment in NIH research had a 150 percent multiplier effect on the economy leading to the creation of 484,939 jobs and generating $69 billion in new economic activity across the U.S.

Sequestration slashed the NIH budget by 5.1 percent or approximately $1.5 billion. It is important to note that these cuts hit the NIH after a decade of flat funding and at a time when their budget is already about 20 percent lower than it was in 2003 because funding has not kept pace with the rate of biomedical inflation. Further reducing the budget for the NIH will undermine the commitment the nation has made in biomedical research at a time when we are on the brink of exciting new discoveries in cancer research.

Cancer already costs our nation more than $226 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity. We urge you to give due consideration to this reality. We can’t afford any increase in that figure or, most importantly, in the number of lives lost. Medical research funding at the NIH must continue to be a national priority.

Thank you for your leadership and support!

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

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