|Rep. Israel Joins Local Medical Professionals to Call for Compromise to Prevent Across-the-Board Cuts that would Slash Funding|
While smart cuts are necessary, meat-cleaver approach puts crucial medical research in jeopardy
Manhasset, NY — Today, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) joined top officials at North Shore-LIJ Health System and local health advocacy groups to remind Congress that it’s not too late to compromise and prevent across-the-board cuts that would deeply impact critical medical research. As a result of the sequester set to take effect today, New York State could lose $102 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding as more than $1.6 billion is cut from NIH funding nationwide.
Rep. Israel said, “Today, as part of the across-the-board spending set to take effect, institutions like North Shore-LIJ are being faced with the stark reality that critical medical research funding will face cuts. While smart cuts are necessary, haphazardly slashing funding is not the answer and only threatens life-saving research on diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. I am reminding my colleagues that it’s not too late to compromise and alleviate the pain that will be felt as a result of these cuts.”
Robert Shapiro, North Shore-LIJ Health System’s chief financial officer, said, “Across the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the impact of the sequestration cuts would total between $87 million and $97 million annually, which would effectively eliminate our ability to reinvest in our facilities and build on our success in improving access to patient care. For the good of the communities we serve, we hope there will be a rational settlement to this dispute.”
Across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, will mean $85 billion in cuts for 2013 nationwide, with a 10-year cost of $1.2 trillion. These cuts are expected to deeply impact North Shore-LIJ Health System’s access to federal research funding. The system includes 16 award-winning hospitals and nearly 400 physicians who practice at locations throughout New York, including Long Island, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
Just this week, Rep. Israel was notified that North Shore-LIJ’s research branch, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, received two grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, as a result of the cuts, many projects will be difficult to execute at reduced funding levels and would need to be cancelled, putting at risk the investments already made through existing studies.