On May 11, ACR leaders will fly to Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional leaders on behalf of ACR and ARHP members. With so many pressing policy issues facing the medical community this year, we hope that you, too, will let your members of Congress know where you stand on the following issues:
Support Medical Research Funding
The ACR is fighting for $20 million from the FY2018 Defense Appropriations Bill to create an arthritis research program at the Department of the Defense (DoD) to better serve veterans living with rheumatic diseases. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability among U.S. military veterans and the second most common reason for medical discharges from the U.S. Army. Arthritis currently competes against a number of other health issues for more general medical research funds, and in the last cycle, advocates secured $16 million in grant funds for arthritis-related research proposals. The designated budget line item we are requesting through the appropriations process would secure this amount for arthritis, allowing researchers more security and resources so they may work on reducing the impact of arthritis on the armed services and the population at large.
Ask your senator and representative to: Dedicate $20 million through the FY2018 Defense Appropriations Bill to create an arthritis research program at the DoD.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding
NIH-funded discoveries are the backbone of the biomedical industry. Discoveries made possible by NIH funding have led to extraordinary improvements in the lives of patients living with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus and other rheumatic diseases. Biologics are available today thanks to NIH funding. In addition, NIH research creates jobs, grows local economies, advances treatments and cures for disease, and reduces healthcare costs. Yet federal investment in the NIH continues to decline. Adjusted for inflation, the NIH receives nearly 25% less funding than it did in 2003, and additional cuts up to 30% have been proposed by the new administration. The NIH currently funds research in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, supporting more than 400,000 scientists at 2,400 American research institutions. This funding is great for communities: Every dollar of NIH funding generates more than double that amount in local economic growth.
Ask your senator and representative to: Support a $2 billion increase from FY2017 for the NIH in the FY2018 Labor-HHA Appropriations Bill, in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiative.