The NIH (National Institutes of Health), a world-wide leader in health and research innovation, needs our support: Budget cuts of $1.2 billion for 2017 and 20% ($5.8 billion) for 2018 have been proposed. These are cuts that will have a negative impact on healthcare innovation and breakthroughs. There are a number of good reasons why spending money with the NIH is a good thing, but suffice it to say, these cuts would have an effect on the lives of everyone. Ok, so you’re ready to help, what’s the best way to make an impact that creates real change? In our opinion, you need to use direct contact, especially with recent reports of members of congress expressing concerns over the cuts.
Online petitions are everywhere. While they can be marginally helpful in creating awareness around an important issue, they generally aren’t known to be effective in catching the attention of those that have the power to make real change in our society.
If the future of research, biomedicine and healthcare is important to you, consider the following 3 ways to make your voice heard in opposition of NIH budget cuts:
1. Join the Coalition to Save NIH Funding
Carrie Jones of JPA Health is leading the charge in creating awareness around the preservation of NIH’s budget. The goal of this organization is to bring together “the varied interest in health, medical research, patient advocacy, pharmaceutical sciences and healthcare delivery to protect NIH’s funding.” You can join the movement on behalf of your company or as an individual.
2. Use Democracy.io to Write to your Representative
Confused about how to contact your congressional representatives directly? Democracy.io takes the guesswork out of the equation: simply head over to the website and enter your address, choose your representatives, and speak your mind. Democracy.io ensures your message gets delivered directly to your representatives. To make things even easier, we’ve provided a basic text to get you started:
I am writing in strong opposition to President Trump’s recently proposed 2018 budget cut to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH depends on government funding to continue the research and healthcare service that has saved, improved and impacted the lives of countless individuals worldwide. Please help make my voice heard in support of continued research and innovation in the United States by preserving the federal funding for the NIH.
Think about sharing an anecdote reflecting on how the contributions of the NIH have affected you, your family or a loved one. Congress should be made aware that the loss of NIH funding affects its constituents on a personal level.
3. Use Resistbot Texting Software
Resistbot utilizes texting software to efficiently get in touch with your congressional representatives. Start by texting “resist” to 50409. Resistbot will then confirm your location in order to get your message to the right representatives. While Resistbot’s text is limited to 160 characters, you can still get a powerful message across. Here’s an example from us:
I strongly oppose the proposed 2018 budget cut for the NIH. Please help me in preserving federal funding for this integral healthcare entity.
Resistbot strongly encourages unique text, so feel free to get creative! Mosio’s character counter makes it easy to get your point across in 160 characters or less.
The NIH has contributed so much to science and health. Let’s work together to save NIH funding by supporting them in the best, most effective way we can. Next time you think about signing that online petition, give a little more thought to taking the more direct route.
Please help spread the word and make our voices heard. Let’s increase spending at the NIH and continue the life saving research and treatments that improve healthcare for all of us.