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Guest commentary: Don't gut medical research funding in fiscal cliff talks

December 19, 2012

Three University of Michigan health care officials warn in an op-ed that medical research is in jeopardy due to automatic funding cuts that could take effect soon if Washington does not address research funding as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. Without a fiscal cliff deal that protects the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 8.2 percent, or $2.5 billion of the funding could be lost. They wrote: "Unless they can find an alternative plan that protects the federal NIH budget, the hope for many treatments and cures will dim, with potentially devastating consequences. Not only will patients suffer today and tomorrow; our state will lose millions in funding and economic activity…We, and our colleagues at Wayne State and Michigan State, also leverage NIH funding to do what no company can or will do: Make the basic discoveries about health and health care that lay the groundwork for better health."