Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

What Federal Budget Cuts Could Mean to Health Care

continued...

Collins anticipates some negative consequences to work being done at the NIH. He said it would be difficult to apply 5.1 percent cuts -- or $1.56 billion -- to the seven months left in this fiscal year. "Science is best supported in the circumstances in which you have a stable trajectory where you can plan month to month," he said. "It's a time of extraordinary scientific progress and extraordinary debt."

Antos, of the American Enterprise Institute, said consumers shouldn't worry that scientific research will stop immediately due to relatively small trims to a federally supported research agency such as the NIH: "There is plenty that is not financed by the federal government alone. Remember that the NIH sponsors somewhat theoretical [long-term] research. They're still going to run with the projects they've got going."

Still, Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group that supports medical and scientific research, thinks research needs to be given a much higher public priority. "Those that feel that [the budget cuts] are just a paper cut are misinformed. It's a serious self-inflicted wound," she said. "If we don't continue to robustly fund the research and evidence base that will help us get a handle on escalating health-care costs, we could bankrupt the nation."

Woolley said Congress has to start focusing on big-ticket items such as Medicare and Medicaid that have a huge impact on health care. "The sequester is a side show compared to what really needs to happen: tax reform and entitlement reform. People know both of these need work, and they're hard, but that's the job [our representatives] are elected to work on," she said.

More information

For more information about health-care costs, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Calculate
Your Costs

See insurance premium
costs and financial aid.

Start Here

Health Insurance
Advisor

Find a plan that's right
for you.

Start Here

Your State's Insurance Marketplace

Get informed about plans, benefits and costs.

From WebMD
Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices