The AAMC joined 2,100 national, state, and local organizations in a Feb. 18 letter urging lawmakers to stop sequestration from taking effect in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and to replace it with a “balanced approach to deficit reduction.”
Led by NDD United, an alliance of organizations working to stop budget cuts to core government functions, the letter explains that nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs “play a vital role in the health and well-being of our lives and communities.” The letter also notes that NDD programs have already endured cuts and the return of sequestration in FY 2016 will bring NDD funding as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) to the lowest level in 50 years.
The letter warns, “These self-imposed cuts are dragging down our economic recovery, hampering business growth and development, weakening public health preparedness and response, reducing resources for our nation’s schools and colleges, compromising federal oversight and fraud recovery, hindering scientific discovery, eroding our infrastructure, and threating our ability to address emergencies around the world. Simply put, these cuts are bad for the country and are not sustainable.”
In closing, the letter urges Congress and the administration to work together to end sequestration and requests that any sequestration relief “be equally balanced between nondefense and defense programs, as strong investments in both NDD and defense are necessary to keep our country competitive, safe, and secure.”
The AAMC-led Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research and the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) also joined the letter.