A Research Tax

I applaud Lorraine Lasker's recent Opinion article (The Scientist, June 10, 1996, page 10) proposing an innovative way to increase federal biomedical research funding. Unfortunately, a voluntary check-off plan will generate relatively little money, and I feel that this proposal does not go far enough. As an academic community, let us advocate a bolder and more productive plan. Let us tax all nonacademic health care providers (managed care organizations, health maintenance organizations, hospit

Eliot Brinton
Sep 15, 1996

I applaud Lorraine Lasker's recent Opinion article (The Scientist, June 10, 1996, page 10) proposing an innovative way to increase federal biomedical research funding. Unfortunately, a voluntary check-off plan will generate relatively little money, and I feel that this proposal does not go far enough. As an academic community, let us advocate a bolder and more productive plan.

Let us tax all nonacademic health care providers (managed care organizations, health maintenance organizations, hospitals, and practicing physicians) to fund medical research and training. Every one of these benefit greatly from ongoing training and research efforts, but they make almost no contribution to support them.

The pharmaceutical industry contributes more to biomedical research than does the federal government, and so might be excused from the research component of the tax. Wholesale and retail pharmacies do not and might be included. Of course, such a tax would largely be passed...

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