The FY2018 omnibus spending package passed yesterday in the House and Senate, and signed by the President this afternoon, offers important and much needed funding to support evidence to improve health across the federal research enterprise—including significant increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and, most notably, the first increase in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) base budget in nine years.
AcademyHealth is pleased to see this tangible commitment to health research, and we commend Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CO) in the House, and Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate for their leadership.
From the CDC’s important work to promote and protect public health, to the NIH’s contributions to preventing and treating disease, and AHRQ’s contributions that help us understand what works, for whom and in what settings, federally funded health research is a bedrock for our individual and collective wellbeing. This budget is a step in the right direction, helping to ensure that health care delivery organizations, policymakers, and the people they serve have the information and evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to get the best, safest care while addressing costs and protecting patient safety.
For AHRQ, in particular, this budget is a notable victory after nearly a decade of flat or decreased funding. These additional funds will allow the agency to support increased investments in investigator-initiated research, while sustaining important measurement and data initiatives to inform ongoing improvements in patient safety.
As an advocate for the health services and policy research community and all the users of their findings in the public and private sectors, AcademyHealth is happy to see a renewed commitment to funding this work.