Do no harm: The state must protect medical research and education programs zeroed out in Gov. Cuomo’s budget
FEB 01, 2020 | 4:00 AM
Keep funding medical education and research. (sanjeri/Getty Images)
Friday, a pretty powerful little birdie who works for Gov. Cuomo made clear that he or she (we’ll guard his or her identity, since this conversation was on background) had read our editorial decrying the executive budget’s defunding of medical research and education programs.
In case you missed it: One program Cuomo targeted for elimination underwrites potentially lifesaving research on opioid abuse, cancer, organ transplants and more. The week prior — one year into a two-year commitment the state had made to their projects — the physician/Ph.D. participants had gotten a jarring note that all their funding could soon be eliminated, their research projects scrapped halfway in.
The other program, three decades old, helps hundreds of black and Latino undergraduates get into medical school and become M.D.s by giving them access to a year of post-baccalaureate education and mentoring. That diversifies the state’s physician workforce, which research shows also helps improve health outcomes.
Both cost pennies on the dollar, $4.6 million total in a $106 billion state budget, and deliver lasting benefits to New York.
Back to the birdie. He or she said we made a good point. He or she said we shouldn’t worry, we didn’t even have to write about this topic again, because, well, it would all be taken care of.
We’re writing about it again, just in case. And so that the little birdie’s promise is memorialized on the stuff people use to line bird cages.