I previously wrote about the crowding out effect of entitlements spending on biomedical research, the latter being squeezed as part of the shrinking discretionary pool of dollars.(Entitlements and Biomedical Research)
What I wrote back then stills holds now, perhaps even more so. If academic medicine and university based research is going to be heavily dependent upon federal research support, being aware of and supportive of policies which are conducive of a growing economy and tax base is essential for any long term prospects. Presently, that is not the case.
Europe continues to trail behind the US in terms of support of research funding.
(EMRC statement on medical research in the EU)
Both in absolute and relative (to GDP) terms, the US spends more on health care (about 6400 € at purchasing power parity exchange rates). Moreover, about 50% of all public US money for research is going to medical research and that translates to their public spending for biomedical research being about 3.5- fold higher per capita ( 143 € for 2009) than is the case in Europe.And it is only going to get worse as the wealth generating machinery of Europe becomes consumed by its debt and entitlement supporting functions. To have an enduring and robust bio-medical research presence, we need a growing economy and manage entitlement growth in the long term. Sequester is impactful but it is just a small taste of what we face if we do not get the diagnosis right.