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Hofferth decries politicization of health care in Baltimore Sun Op-Ed

Calls statements by Eric Cantor and others a "red herring" to avoid uncomfortable policy questions

Dr. Sandra Hofferth, former Director of MPRC and currently Director of the Maternal and Child Health program at the University of Maryland, wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Baltimore Sun on July 15, 2013. In the article she draws attention to comments made by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other members of the House who, she writes, "have been using the budget process to target research in the behavioral and social sciences for elimination, even though they're indispensable to understanding and improving Americans' health. . . .

"The study of behavioral and social sciences is written into the mandate of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) "to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems … to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability." So why are they a particular target of budget cutters?

"Perhaps it's because they study the behavior of real people and societies, so they're inherently political in a way that lab research in biology or pharmacology is not. They furnish actual evidence of real-world success or failure of a public policy in a particular area, which some politicians may prefer not to have," Hofferth writes.

See the complete Baltimore Sun article