Politics

Congress Cuts Medical Research Thanks to Ice Bucket Challenge

Aug 28, 2014

176869786Thanks to the viral success of the ice bucket challenge, which has raised $95 million for the ALS Association, Congress has pledged to slash $1 billion previously budgeted for life-saving medical research.

The $95 million is a drop in the bucket compared to Congress’ budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the government agency that spends billions of dollars a year funding medical research on causes such as ALS, cancer, mental health, diabetes, drug abuse, and strokes.

However, Republicans and Democrats who voted to slash the NIH’s budget said that citizens taking part in the ice bucket challenge directly influenced their decision to chop even more money.

“I have often said private citizens and businesses can do a better job funding things than the government can, and this ice bucket challenge vindicates me,” said Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who voted to cut ALS funding and also took the challenge. “As soon as government funding for ALS research dropped, private citizens stepped in to fill the gap and raised almost $95 million by voluntarily humiliating themselves through peer pressure on social media. This is American initiative at its finest.

“Now if the American people can raise just another $950 million this year through the ice bucket challenge -- and continue to raise at least $1 billion a year for the next few years -- it will soon seem like the government never even funded ALS research. Which is what we want.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the ice bucket challenge convinced him that the government shouldn’t be responsible for funding life-saving programs if private citizens are willing to do it.

“The American people often complain that government wastes their tax dollars, but these cuts to government medical research prove that we’re serious about spending wisely,” the Nevada Democrat said. “This additional $1 billion can now be budgeted for pork projects and multi-billion-dollar military fighter jets.”

Cold as ice

The ice bucket challenge is meant to raise awareness of the motor-neuron disease ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) by having participants dump a bucket of ice water over their head, upload the results to YouTube, and then challenge others to do it. The challenge attracted the participation of celebrities including Rihanna, George Takei, Chris Hemsworth, Tina Fey, Eminem, and even former President George W. Bush.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to Guantanamo Bay detention camp to take the ice bucket challenge after he was challenged by a prisoner. However, the staunch defender of waterboarding was quickly dragged away, screaming and crying, after he immediately confessed to secretly planning a terrorist attack on San Diego.

“Make it stop! Make it stop! 9/11 was an inside job!” Cheney reportedly screamed as ice water poured over him. “I’ll tell you everything. San Diego is next. Americans need to be scared of terrorism again! Just make it stop!”

Jackass move

In preparation for the government’s deep cuts to research, federal and nonprofit medical organizations are getting inspiration from the ice bucket challenge in coming up with their own social media-driven fundraisers.

Jackass star Johnny Knoxville has already signed on as spokesman for “Get Kicked in the Balls for AIDS,” which will kick off in September in time for football season.

Other proposed fundraisers include “Baseball bat to the kneecaps for leukemia,” “Punch a Palestinian for muscular dystrophy,” “Get Tasered by police for breast cancer,” and “Drone strike a Yemeni wedding for diabetes.”

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  • sudon’t

    “…Johnny Knoxville has already signed on as spokesman for “Get Kicked in the Balls for AIDS”

    That’s the story you shoulda wrote.

  • vito33

    Well no, because the Ice Bucket Challenge flowed directly out of the Set Yourself On Fire Challenge.

  • captaingrumpy

    I want to sign up Harry Reid for ALL of these events….
    Disgusting person that he is.