Funds Improve Health, are a Major Economic Driver
HARRISBURG, Pa., April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Building on the enactment of national health care reform, Governor Edward G. Rendell today joined 24 other governors in a bipartisan call to the leaders and ranking members of the U.S. House and Senate budget committees to approve the 3.2 percent funding increase for the National Institutes of Health. The increase is part of President Obama's budget request.
"We can find a cure for cancer, but it is not going to happen by accident. America's leading researchers in hospitals, universities and industry cannot do their jobs without support from the NIH," the Governor said.
"The added bonus is that the NIH is an important national, regional and economic engine that directly supports 350,000 jobs across the nation. In Pennsylvania, we see indirect job benefits from laboratories needing space, supplies, services and equipment. And NIH-funded discoveries are the basis for new companies and even new industries in our communities."
In 2009, Pennsylvania received more than $1.65 billion, the fourth-highest level of NIH funding for any state. That included $278 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, funds channeled through NIH which funded 807 projects. More than $1.38 billion of regular NIH funds paid for an additional 3,394 projects in the state.
Projects being funded by the NIH include studies of gene therapy, obesity, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, aging, chronic disease, and cancer. Institutions throughout the state, including the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pennsylvania, Geisinger Health System and Penn State Hershey Medical Center, have received awards.
The NIH funds support thousands of jobs statewide. The University of Pennsylvania has estimated that nearly 700 different positions at Penn are funded by the ARRA grants alone.
Across the nation, the Recovery Act has delivered the largest increase in basic funding in this history of federally funded scientific research -- $21.5 billion. Those investments have played a critical role in the economy's short-term recovery and long-term growth.
Editor's note: The text of the letter signed by 25 Governors to Senators Kent Conrad and Judd Gregg and Representatives John M. Spratt Jr. and Paul Ryan is below:
April 13, 2010
Dear Chairmen Conrad and Spratt and Ranking Members Gregg and Ryan:
We, the undersigned governors, thank you for your past support for biomedical research and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and ask you to craft a budget resolution that accommodates the President's $32.2 billion FY 2011 NIH budget request.
The greatest contribution NIH makes is to the health and well-being of Americans. Past federal investments in medical research, combined with those from the private sector, have led to improved health, better quality of life, and improved productivity of millions of patients and their families.
But NIH is also an important national, regional, and local economic engine. Together, our states received more than $19 billion from the NIH last year for promising research efforts. NIH funding directly supports 350,000 jobs across the U.S. In our states, we see firsthand the world class research institutions and scientific teams enabled by NIH, as well as the indirect job benefits of laboratories needing space, supplies, services, and equipment. We are also deeply aware that NIH-funded discoveries are the basis of new companies and even new industries in our communities.
NIH research is an instrumental part of the success of the U.S. life sciences industry and its 6 million high-wage U.S. jobs. Moreover, follow-on life science research advances are now stimulating new jobs and new solutions in green energy, agriculture, the environment and industrial manufacturing. NIH funding enables the scientific talent and discoveries that are at the heart of this vast array of economic activity.
As you develop the Congressional Budget Resolution, we urge you to enable the 3.2% funding increase for NIH contained in the President's budget request.
With warm regards,
Governor Jim Doyle, Wisconsin
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California
Governor Bob Riley, Alabama
Governor Bill Ritter Jr., Colorado
Governor M. Jodi Rell, Connecticut
Governor Jack Markell, Delaware
Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois
Governor Chester J. Culver, Iowa
Governor Mark Parkinson, Kansas
Governor Steven L. Beshear, Kentucky
Governor Martin O'Malley, Maryland
Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts
Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey
Governor David A. Patterson, New York
Governor Bev Perdue, North Carolina
Governor Ted Strickland, Ohio
Governor Brad Henry, Oklahoma
Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski, Oregon
Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania
Governor M. Michael Rounds, South Dakota
Governor Phil Bredesen, Tennessee
Governor James H. Douglas, Vermont
Governor Christine O. Gregoire, Washington
Governor Joe Manchin III, West Virginia
Governor Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader John Boehner
Senator Daniel Inouye
Senator Thad Cochran
Senator Tom Harkin
Congressman David Obey
Congressman Jerry Lewis
Congressman Todd Tiahrt
Media contact: Gary Tuma, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor