Press Release

New Report Documents Devastating Impacts of Deep Cuts to Public Health

July 15, 2014

Endocrine Society and Coalition of More than 90 Organizations Call on Congress to Stop Cuts and Keep America Safe and Healthy, Invest in Public Health

Washington, DC—Today, the Endocrine Society calls on Congress to prevent further budget cuts to federal health programs. As part of the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF), which represents more than 90 public health advocacy organizations, the Society released a new report documenting the dire consequences of Congress’s deep cuts to public health programs in recent years. “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Hurt America’s Health” illustrates how cuts in NIH funding for biomedical research have significantly impeded efforts to find cures and new therapies for endocrine diseases like diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and thyroid cancer and cuts in the federal budget have adversely affected the public’s health and economy.

“Just a tiny fraction of the federal budget goes toward supporting all of our nation’s public health needs—everything from preventing disease, to keeping our food and drugs safe, to ensuring that Americans have access to primary care doctors. Flat federal funding over the last decade has reduced that small pot of money to unacceptable levels. At a time when we should be taking advantage of scientific opportunities and building on previous discoveries, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is operating at a level that is 20 percent below the NIH budget in FY 2003,” said Richard Santen, MD, president of the Endocrine Society. “We need Congress to stop further cuts to public health programs and continue investing in keeping American families and communities strong, safe, and healthy.”

Nationally, budget cuts have forced the layoffs of more than 50,000 public health professionals who monitor and respond to virus outbreaks, immunize children and the elderly, inspect restaurants, and care for the indigent. Public health departments in 33 states and the District of Columbia have reduced their budgets. Funds for public health overall, let alone the workforce, have been eroding for nearly a decade and while there will be some limited sequester relief in 2014, sequestration threatens public health programs in 2015 and for years to come unless Congress does something to support a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

“More than 29 million people in this country have diabetes and we desperately need to do something about it. Cuts to health programs are slowing, and sometimes halting potentially life-saving research,” said Santen. “Investing in biomedical research funding is investing in ourselves, our families, and our communities and should not be further eroded.”

The new report, online at www.cutshurt.org, will be presented today at a Hill briefing at 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-562.

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.


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Media Contacts

Colleen Williams Manager, Public Relations Phone: (202)-971-3611 cwilliams@endocrine.org

Jenni Glenn Gingery Associate Director, Communications and Media Relations Phone: (202)-971-3655 jgingery@endocrine.org

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