Federal Budget Politics: Where’s Health IT Research Going?

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | September 13, 2012

Amidst so much political talk of budget deficits and the role of government, the greater science community is wondering what a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan budget would mean for federal research funding.

Nature News wrote recently that of the $3.2 billion in cuts Ryan’s budget plan makes to non-military research funding, a 5 percent cut from the 2012 budget. “Science advocates worry that this might include research such as clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health for therapies from which the drug industry would be unlikely to profit.”

Looking more broadly at federal research funding, Slate wrote in May about the costs and benefits of public investment in defense, medical and energy research, and noted that while the roughly $130 billion spent a year is 5 percent of the total federal budget, “our research spending almost equals what the rest of the world’s governments’ outlay on S&T combined.”