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Budget Sequestration and State-level Losses

The federal budget sequestration plan that is set to be enacted at the start of 2013 will have dramatic effects on National Institutes of Health funding, which is likely to see a 7.8 percent gash to its budget, resulting in less research money to the states and fewer lab jobs, according to United for Medical Research, an advocacy organization that works for enhanced federal support for bioscience.

UMR has issued a report and a new online map that highlight how states would be hurt by the across-the board sequester cuts, officially known as the Budget Control Act, which were created by Congress last year as a way to ensure that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction reached a deal on cutting the debt.

When that 'Supercommittee' failed to reach a deal, the process was set in motion that will lead to sequester cuts at the beginning of the year unless another deal is reached on the budget or to change them.

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins told a US Senate subcommittee earlier this year that the sequester would be "devastating" to NIH, resulting in a cut of $2.4 billion and resulting in around 2,300 fewer grants.

UMR has estimated that the sequester would lead to around 1,900 fewer grants, which in turn would reduce the total employment supported by NIH awards by 33,700 jobs, leading to a loss of around $4.5 billion in economic activity.

A new map posted on UMR's website shows a state-by-state estimate of how the sequester at NIH could impact regional research and economic activities. States that have more biomedical research capacity might see the highest losses, according to UMR. For example, California could lose $275.8 million in grants, resulting in nearly 5,000 fewer jobs; NIH funding to Massachusetts could drop by around $195.6 million, resulting in as many as 2,700 fewer jobs; and North Carolina could see a drop of $82.9 million in NIH funding, affecting 1,605 jobs.

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