The National Institutes of Healthby Representative Michael K. Simpson
Posted on 2013-12-16
in the house of representatives
Monday, December 16, 2013
Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, the mission of the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) is to seek and improve the quality of knowledge in the
medical sciences, and to apply that knowledge in a meaningful way. The
NIH fulfills this mission by maintaining high standards of scientific
integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility. The NIH
also enriches many colleges and universities across the country,
because, though many Americans are not aware, a large portion of the
budget is sent out to all fifty states in the form of extramural
research grants. Through these grants, better education yields higher
return on public investment in medical research.
Thanks in part to research performed by the NIH, the life expectancy of a baby born in the United States is now 79--which is three decades longer than one born in 1900. Not only are we living longer, but our quality of life is improving. According to the NIH, the proportion of elderly with chronic disabilities has dropped by almost one third over the last 25 years.
Research and development in the medical field is the key to curing not only cancer, but also a host of other diseases that impact millions of Americans. For citizens who suffer from pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest major cancers, such funding is not just necessary, it's urgent. It is critical that Congress do whatever is possible to support pancreatic cancer research at the NIH and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In meetings with my constituents who have shared their stories about pancreatic cancer, it has been clear that we could do more to find a cure for this disease.
It is crucial that we, Members of the United States Congress, continue to support the NIH and its subsidiary, the NCI, by providing sustained and predictable funding. In these times of record debts and deficits and reduced budgets, it remains important that Congress continue to prioritize what is most important. The NIH is truly a national treasure. It is a light that we must not let fade.