The PJ Tatler

Meet the Big-Government Republicans Who Back Increased NIH Funding

Following on the footsteps of Newt Gingrich’s op-ed in the New York Times, several Republicans have joined the former speaker of the House and come forward in support of an increased budget for the National Institutes of Health. The Hill describes these Republicans as “conservative.”  Hardly.

I wrote about Newt Gingrich’s call for government expansion, reminding readers that government is both wasteful and unaccountable with taxpayer dollars. Why not audit the NIH before throwing more taxpayer dollars in its direction?

Joining Newt’s call for the expansion of government is loser Eric Cantor, who was humiliated in his primary race last year when his constituents tossed his big-government, crony-capitalist ass out of office.  But Cantor’s back, and he’s back on K Street where failed politicians go to cash in after years of doing the bidding of their crony-capitalist masters.

Another big-government Republican looking to expand government is Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon. “It’s not only a compassionate thing,” said the conservative Salmon (R-Ariz.), a champion of increased NIH funding. “It’s also an economic issue, when we look at the dollars that are never earned because of cancer.”

Not exactly, sir. Why do you assume it’s the government’s responsibility to cure cancer? You want the same government that could not successfully launch a website for its healthcare program to save humanity? Really?

Another player in this big-government shenanigan is Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services who is “pleased” Obama has requested more money for the NIH — a request to the tune of $1B.

The root of all this talk is a bipartisan “21st Century Cures” bill, spearheaded by another big-government guy, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, along with Democrat Rep. Diana DeGette. The bill will jack up the NIH budget to $35B by 2018.

The big problem these drunken sailors are facing is that by law, they have spending caps.

“Under the blueprint, House appropriators must cut $3.7 billion from the spending bill that covers healthcare, meaning even if the 21st Century Cures Bill authorizes new funding, it might not get through the appropriations committees.“

Let’s hope.

“Of course we all support biomedical research,” House Health Appropriations chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told NIH officials at a hearing in March. “Unfortunately, right now sequester is the law of the land and, given the reality of the funding allocations, we won’t be able to do everything the administration is proposing.”

As I pointed out in my piece on Newt’s advertisement for the biomedical research lobbying industry support for the expansion of the NIH budget, the NIH spends at least $12B a year on animal testing.  Taxpayers are underwriting barbaric animal experimentation, experimentation that is being abandoned by private industry because it is inefficient and mostly ineffective for drug discovery and scientific innovation.  These government experiments have no outside oversight or incentive to produce results. Don’t believe me? Fine, let’s audit the NIH and find out what’s going on there. What’s the harm?

The government will never be as efficient as private industry nor will it ever be as innovative, which is exactly why we should think very carefully before slamming the taxpayer with the burden to fork over their hard-earned money for more government.

It’s time to let private industry handle drug discovery and medical research.

Writes Bloomberg, “The LiverChip and similar devices allow researchers to hone treatments without experimenting on animals in early stages, making drug development faster and cheaper, with fewer complications. The ultimate goal of scientists — who have also replicated hearts and lungs — is to link ersatz organs into a ‘human on a chip’ to test medicines on the whole body.”

Alan Wells, a University of Pittsburgh professor who worked on the liver on a chip, explains, “Many animal disease models don’t reflect the human condition. You have to get into the human system.”

Don’t buy into the hype that the government is “just around the corner” from INSERT LIFE SAVING MEASURE/DRUG HERE because lobbyists are paying for spokesmen and politicians to pull at your heart strings. The government is inefficient and wasteful whether its trying to cure cancer or trying to issue you a driver’s license.