I just got this email from the Arthritis Foundation and instead of me trying to explain it ( I have no brain today) I’m just copying and pasting the e-mail. By the way, I’m advocate… 🙂
Arthritis Legislation Update
As we near our nation’s birthday we wanted to share some preliminary good news regarding your advocacy efforts. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that the National Institutes of Health receive a 3.5% increase overall. Although the Arthritis Foundation and many other organizations were requesting a 6.5% increase for NIH, the 3.5% increase represents the first time in six years that funding for NIH research has kept pace with biomedical inflation. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases received a 2.9% increase with a recommendation for $523 million in Fiscal Year 2009. Due to Arthritis Foundation advocacy, the Committee specifically recommended the following in its approved bill:
“Arthritis – the Committee supports the establishment of a national data collection system to ensure that the safety and effectiveness of new arthritis treatment is understood and that they are applied in the most beneficial manner, especially in the case of childhood arthritis. The Committee also notes the strong need for a national network of cooperating clinical centers dedicated to the care and study of children with arthritis.”
This Committee Report language was first shared with our advocates and Congress during the Advocacy Summit in Washington DC. This language is extremely important and indicates to NIAMS that Congress considers juvenile arthritis a priority and one that deserves more attention.
The Senate Appropriations Committee also recommended a 1.2% increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raising their budget from $6.4 billion to $6.5 billion (a $76 million increase). Due to the advocacy efforts of the Arthritis Foundation, including the Chapters, our grassroots advocates and our Arthritis Ambassadors, the arthritis program at CDC received an increase of $500,000, which is nearly a 4% increase, for $13.5 million in Fiscal Year 2009. Once both the full House and Senate pass their committees’ versions, the differences between the two must be reconciled, passed again and then sent to the President for his signature. The appropriations process is far from over, and we will be reaching out to you in the coming months to continue your advocacy work to let Congress know more needs to be done for people with arthritis. Thanks to all of you for continued advocacy efforts to increase federal attention and resources for both adults and children at the NIH, CDC and in states throughout the nation.
Have a happy and safe July 4th!