Ann Romney vows to fight budget cuts to National Institutes of Health

Ann Romney said Tuesday that she would be willing to go to Congress and plead with them to preserve funding for the National Institutes of Health, which President Trump’s proposed budget would slash by about $6 billion, or roughly 20 percent.

“I will be the first one down lobbying against this,” she said in an interview with Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga.

“If you don’t have that funding, there will be nothing,” Romney warned. “There will be no new treatments, there will be no new drug therapies, progress in medicine will come to a halt.”

Romney is the wife of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Ann Romney, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, now serves as the global ambassador for the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Romney called the center a “one-stop shop” for research, diagnosis, and treatment of neurologic diseases.

With her MS in remission, she said, “I’m in a position to do something, to help people, to give people hope.”

Later, Romney also weighed in on the recent failed effort by Republicans to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which she said needs to be “repaired.”

“We can’t sort of say, ‘Let’s walk away, it didn’t work, goodbye,’” she said. “It’s much more complicated than that and it needs resuscitation.”

Romney also rebuked Trump’s proposal to let Obamacare fail on its own in order to force Democrats to get behind a repeal and replace effort: “When people’s personal well-being becomes a political football, it’s unfortunate.”

Mitt Romney, a fierce Trump critic during the campaign, was one of the contenders to be Trump’s secretary of state, but ultimately was passed over. Asked whether the couple was disappointed he wasn’t chosen, Ann Romney laughed before answering, “We’re happy with our life.”

“Mitt would have loved to have served the country in a way and brought expertise to the foreign policy and that didn’t happen and that’s fine,” Romney said. “We find other ways to serve.”