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President Barack H. Obama Jr.
 
Obama

President Barack H. Obama Jr.

,
Democrat

Contact:
P.O. Box 803638
Chicago, IL 60680
312-698-3670

Web site  | E-mail

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This candidate has taken a stand on medical research!

Question 1

When it comes to rising health care costs, would you say research to improve health and prevent disease is part of the problem or part of the solution?

Part of the problem

Part of the solution

Candidate's Comments

The strength and ingenuity of Americaís people and communities have driven Americaís success. A healthy and fit nation is vital to that strength and is the bedrock of the productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship essential for our future. Medical research holds promise like no other area of human endeavor to save lives, to spare suffering, and to build a better world for ourselves and our children. Under my Administration, we have seen the single largest boost to biomedical research in history through the Recovery Act, supporting cutting-edge research all across America and building on the lessons of the Human Genome Project to understand, prevent, and treat various forms of cancer, heart disease, and autism. The Affordable Care Act created the National Prevention Council and called for the development of the National Prevention Strategy to realize the benefits of prevention for all Americanís health. The National Prevention Strategy builds on the lawís efforts to lower health care costs, improve the quality of care, and provide coverage options for the uninsured, and identifies promising research topics as well.


Question 2

 Recent studies have shown that federal investments in health and medical research creates jobs in communities across the country that benefit a wide variety of industries.  Do you support or oppose boosting investment in medical research and innovation as a job creation strategy?

Support

Oppose

Candidate's Comments

I believe that by maintaining and growing our support for key basic research we are strengthening our communities; this is why I have made a commitment to double our investment in scientific research over the next 10 years. Even in these difficult funding times, I have fought to support funding for the National Institutes of Health. NIH research funding alone creates nearly 500,000 American jobs by some estimates, and nearly 1 million U.S. citizens are employed by the industries and companies that make up this sector of the economy. NIH support for biomedical research institutions move business activity in other ways, attracting companies that wish to locate their operations within ďknowledge hubs.Ē


Question 3

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends approximately $31 billion per year on health research, nearly 85% of which goes to universities, academic medical centers, hospitals, independent research institutes, and small businesses across the country. The NIH budget is decreasing relative to inflation. Do you support or oppose making health research sponsored by NIH a higher national priority, or not?

Support

Oppose

Candidate's Comments

NIH is the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. As a nation, we have benefitted greatly due in large measure to NIH research: average lifespan is increasing, the proportion of older people with chronic disabilities has dropped by almost one-third, the U.S. death rate for coronary disease is 60 percent lower than three generations ago, and the mortality rate due to cancer is dropping. All of this progress is underpinned by NIH research. I requested $33 billion for NIH in 2012, a significant increase in resources.


Question 4

Do you believe the federal government should place more emphasis on increasing the number of young Americans who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or not?   

Yes

No

Candidate's Comments

Outstanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is vital for the future of our nation. Thatís why my administration has identified three overarching priorities for STEM education: increasing STEM literacy so all students can think critically in science, math, engineering and technology; improving the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and expanding STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and minorities. My administration has taken bold steps to meet these priorities through initiatives like Educate to Innovate, which, among other goals, focuses on improving STEM education for underrepresented groups, including girls. The most recent Race to the Top competition rewards states that develop strategies to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. We also need to do more to support women and girls who choose careers in STEM disciplines. Just a few months ago, Michelle announced an initiative to provide greater work-related flexibility to women and men in research careers, run by the National Science Foundation.


Question 5

Would you say government investment in health research for the benefit of military veterans and service members is:

Too much

About right

Not enough

Candidate's Comments

As President of the United States, I have no greater responsibility than keeping the American people secure. I could not meet that responsibility, and we could not enjoy the blessing of our liberty, without the extraordinary service of our Armed forces. As Commander in Chief, I am determined to do whatever it takes to make sure that our service members have the resources, leadership, and support necessary to accomplish their mission, return home safely, and transition back into civilian life. I will continue to invest in our nationís military service members and their families, providing them with the training, equipment, and infrastructure needed to maintain military readiness. My 2012 budget request for the Department of Defense reflects that commitment. The Administration sustains ongoing efforts to provide high-quality medical care to the over 9.6 million service members, retirees, and their families through Department of Defense programs. This includes ongoing support for wounded warrior transition units and centers of excellence in vision, hearing, traumatic brain injury, and other areas to continuously improve the care provided to wounded, ill, and injured service members. In 2012 the Department of Veterans Affairs is also expected to reach 8.6 million Veterans, improving outreach, education, construction, and tele-health technology.


Question 6

According to a March 2011 poll commissioned by Research!America, 90% of Americans agree that the U.S. is in danger of losing its global competitive edge in science, technology, and innovation.  Earlier this year, it was reported that China is catching up to the U.S. in R&D investment, surpassing Japan as second to the U.S. If you are elected, will maintaining Americaís global competitive edge in science, technology, and innovation be a priority for you, or not?

A high priority

A priority

A low priority

Not a priority

Candidate's Comments

To compete for the jobs and industries of our time, we have to make America the best place on earth to do business and out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. I have called for a level of research and development we havenít seen since the height of the Space Race and sent budgets to Congress that helps us meet that goal. By continuing our investment in the basic research, science, engineering, and technology that can turn ideas into reality, we are investing in the creation of new products, businesses, and industries that, despite barely having been imagined a few years earlier, prove to be essential and even iconic.


Question 7

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plays a lead role in protecting the everyday health of Americans by supporting state and local health departments, conducting epidemiological and other health research, and addressing food-borne illnesses, potential pandemics and other public health threats.  The CDC budget received a deep cut in fiscal year 2011.  Do you support or oppose making funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a higher national priority?

Support

Oppose

Candidate's Comments

America relies on a strong public health system. The work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is critical for our mission to preserve and protect health and safety of our citizens. My most recent budget provides $11.3 billion for CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a significant increase.


Question 8

Since 1981, the federal government has offered a tax credit to businesses pursuing research and development activities.  However, because the tax credit is temporary and must be reauthorized periodically, businesses are never certain about receiving the benefits of the credit for longer-term investments.  Do you support or oppose making the R&D tax credit permanent, even if that means a permanent reduction in tax revenues?

Support

Oppose

Candidate's Comments

I support expanding, simplifying, and permanently extending the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit in order to help companies create good jobs in America now while increasing future productivity in growth. This is a win-winóencouraging job growth and investment now that will pay off with stronger economic growth in the future.


Question 9

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) also plays a key role in the nationís health, supporting research to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care.  The AHRQ budget received a deep cut in fiscal year 2011.   Do you support or oppose making funding for AHRQ a higher national priority?

Support

Oppose

Candidate's Comments

I believe that quality, affordable health care for all Americans cannot occur without significant advances in the underlying evidenced-based research that will enable better and more cost-effective treatments to be identified. The Recovery Act invested $1.1 billion in comparative effectiveness research, and the Affordable Care Act builds on this investment through the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute which complements the work of AHRQ. These funds will enable the health services research community to pursue a number of opportunities that will make a measurable difference in the health care for all Americans.


Question 10

Does your campaign have a scientific advisor, or not?

Yes

No

Candidate's Comments

Dr. John P. Holdren serves in the White House as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the Presidentís Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He is responsible for leading interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and working with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.


Question 11

Our nationís health care costs attributable to smoking and obesity are estimated at $243 billion. One of the key aims of prevention research is to help Americans make behavioral changes that can help them overcome these and other hazardous and costly health threats. Do you believe the government should play a role in prevention research, or not? 

Yes

No

Candidate's Comments

This Administration has made tackling obesity and tobacco use a priority. The Recovery Act and the Affordable Care Actís Prevention and Public Health Fund have invested significant new resources in preventing obesity and tobacco use and in prevention research. The President also signed and is implementing landmark legislation to regulate tobacco. Given the challenging fiscal climate, research on what works is even more important to target initiatives, and the CDC and the NIH will continue to play a role in doing so.


Question 12

Do you support or oppose expanding federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells?

Support

Oppose

Candidate's Comments

Less than three months after taking office in 2009, I signed an Executive Order that removed barriers to responsible scientific research involving human stem cells. The previous Administration allowed the National Institutes of Health to fund human embryonic stem cell research on cell lines created before an arbitrary date, August 9, 2001, but prohibited research on cell lines created after that date. The Executive Order I signed lifted this restriction. Scientists and experts in the private sector, academia, and at the National Institutes of Health are now investigating new responsible research opportunities with stem cell lines that adhere to new guidelines, but were not available to experts under the old restrictions. For too long, patients and families have suffered from debilitating, incurable diseases and we know that stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans across the country. I am committed to supporting responsible stem cell research now, and in the future.


Question 13

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medical treatments, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs and medical devices such as pacemakers.  It is also responsible for ensuring the safety of much of the U.S. food supply. Do you believe the FDA receives adequate funding to accomplish its mission, or not?

Yes

No

Candidate's Comments

The federal Food and Drug Administration must have sufficient resources to achieve its essential mission of protection the publicís health, assuring food and medical products are safe, and improving Americanís access to safe and less costly generic drugs and biologics. My budget requests increased funding for FDA to protect and promote the health of the American public every day, and through every stage of life. The FDA has supported industry efforts to innovate and bring many new products and technologies to market. These products touch the lives of countless Americans in very profound ways. This has produced results: in fiscal year 2011, FDA approved the second highest number of new, innovative, brand-name drugs in over a decade. I strongly support robust funding for FDA to continue implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which includes establishing science-based prevention standards, conducting increased and more effective inspections, improving oversight of imports, and investing in the development of medical products, including countermeasures for biodefense threats.

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