A Cut to International Health Initiatives Will Lead to Worse Outcomes Abroad And Job Losses in the U.S. a Health Organization Says
A group consisting of more than 25 non-profit organizations that are proponents of global health research and development claims that the Trump administration’s cuts to proposed health funding will harm programs that have not only led to better health outcomes across the globe, but also slash hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S.
The report, co-authored by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), stated that the U.S. invested nearly $14.0 billion in research and development for global health between 2007 and 2015. The funding helped lead to development of new technologies, diagnostics, vaccines, drugs, and other products for infectious diseases.
While the fund is ostensibly focused on global health, the majority of that funding has remained in the U.S., according to the group, leading to the creation of almost 200,000 jobs and generating $33.0 billion in economic output. The group contends that 89% of the funds designated for these initiatives remained in the U.S. in 2015.
“It’s hard to imagine many other investments of taxpayer dollars that have provided such impressive returns,” Jamie Bay Nishi, director of the GHTC, said in a statement.
“The public investment is critical because most of the victims of diseases like meningitis and malaria are too poor to offer the kind of commercial market incentives that attract industry interest,” Nishi said. “But we have found many pharmaceutical and biotech companies are willing to turn their considerable talents to developing global health technologies if they have a reliable partner willing to share the risk.”
The report states that the White House is looking to cut the budget of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by 23% and closing the global health-focused Fogarty International Center, which trains researchers. Trump’s proposal also would result in the United States Agency for International Development—commonly referred to as USAID—the U.S. State Department, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) being the targets of broad cuts.
This all comes at a time when there is a fierce battle in the Senate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, as lawmakers decide whether they will end up repealing Obamacare and what healthcare plan will replace the act, should they get enough votes to do away with the healthcare law.
“Coalition: Proposed cuts to global health investments a job-killer in US,” Healio, July 24, 2017.