On Friday, the White House sent appropriators a list of proposed cuts for fiscal year (FY) 2017, which, if enacted, would affect agencies' current budgets between now and September 30, 2017. Obtained by POLITICO, this proposal suggests cutting $18 billion across more than 20 federal departments – among them horrific cuts to public health and health research.

Specifically, the proposal calls for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to receive a $1.18 billion reduction in research grants and the elimination of $50 million in spending on new Institutional Development Award (IDeA) grants, which aim to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. The proposed cut to the NIH represents one of the three largest reductions to individual agencies in the administration’s document.

The proposal also calls for a $50 million cut to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), roughly 15 percent of the agency’s budget, by reducing new grants that support research to improve the quality, effectiveness, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of health care.

Having now seen the president’s budget proposals for FY 2017 and 2018, we remain highly concerned about what they mean for health and health care research. A country devoid of this work puts the health of all Americans at risk. This proposal decimates everything from public health protection to disease control and prevention, and from discovery of new cures to the delivery of high-quality health care.

AcademyHealth stands with our peers in the scientific community and calls on Congress to reject this outline and protect the health of our citizens by restoring funding to the critical agencies that live in the Department of Health and Human Services.

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