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Poll finds public, political support for health research funding

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
A Research!America poll shows Obama and Gingrich agree on health research need.

An opinion poll from Research!America shows both Obama and Gingrich agree health research is needed to help Americans prevent disease, manage escalating health care costs and job creation. The poll also shows widespread support for health research from the public.

"Unfortunately, many elected officials and candidates have failed to elevate these issues in their campaigns," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. "The poll underscores Americans' willingness to make research a high priority to address our economic and health challenges."

Though Obama and Gingrich agree on the need for health research, they each have slightly different opinions about stem cell research. Gingrich is opposed to using embryos.

The responses from Gingrich from the Research!America initiative, Your Candidates–Your Health 2012, was ""I strongly support adult stem cell research. I will oppose at every turn any process of destroying embryos."

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Obama said, “For too long, patients and families have suffered from debilitating, incurable diseases and we know that stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans across the country. I am committed to supporting responsible stem cell research now, and in the future.”

  • In the finding, 85% of those polled felt and innovation is important for the economy of their State.
  • Forty-eight percent would like to see more government investing in research involving veterans and military personnel.
  • Sixty-one percent would like to see the government fund more studies for embryonic stem cell research.
  • 73% think the government should focus on trying to increase the number of Americans pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • 82% recognize disparities in health care that also deserves funding for research.

"Americans realize that massive spending cuts for federal agencies like the NIH would move our country in the wrong direction," said Research!America's chair, former Illinois Congressman John Porter. "A strong investment in research will yield more scientific discoveries, boost our global competitiveness and help lower health care costs. We need elected officials who will aggressively support and expand research and development."

Most Americans agreed funding to federal agencies for health research needs a boost - (86%) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), (79%) for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and (75%) for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Spending cuts for health research poses dangers to the American Public. Government budget cuts are planned for October, 2012. Research!America is calling for a moratorium on the planned cut backs.

Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Image: NIH research center