NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 20, 2005

Compared to other health issues, Americans are not particularly interested in funding stem cell research. In fact, funding for stem cell research ranked 12th out of the twelve choices for the most important health care issues in a post-election survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health.

The survey, conducted by International Communications Research between November 4 and November 28, 2004, had a nationwide sample of 1,396 respondents ages 18 and over.

  • Of those 1,396 respondents, 19 percent said federal funding for stem cell research is "Not too important," 32 percent said federal funding was important but not a top priority, and 23 percent said federal funds should not be used at all for stem cell research.
  • Only 21 percent agreed that "increasing federal funding for stem cell research" should "be a top priority for the President and Congress this year."

The study did not differentiate between funding embryonic stem cell research and adult stem cell research, note observers.

In 2001, President Bush authorized $190 million for adult stem cell research but prohibited the use of funds on any new embryonic stem cell research. Considered more ethical, research on adult stem cells has already resulted in dozens of treatments and cures, report observers.

While not at the top of the list this year, federal funding for stem cell research will continue to be hot topic. However, this year, Americans are more concerned with lowering health insurance and health care costs, stabilizing Medicare and responding to bioterrorism issues, say observers.

Source: Steven Ertelt, "Survey: Funding Stem Cell Research Lowest Health Care Priority,", January 11, 2005.


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