By Troy Zimmerman, National Kidney Foundation’s Vice President of Government Relations
Advocacy works! On July 19th, the House Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year 2018 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (and rejected many of President Trump’s proposed cuts). At our March Kidney Summit, NKF patient advocates met with their House Member to request support for kidney disease research and early detection of CKD. Programs of interest to kidney patients in the funding bill include:
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion activities would receive $703.7 million in discretionary funding, including $2.1 million for the Chronic Kidney Disease program designed to increase awareness and management of CKD (90% of those with kidney disease are unaware they have it). Chronic disease funding is $74 million less than the FY 2017 amount but the kidney program is maintained at the 2017 level.
A $1.1 billion increase to $35.2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, including $1.9 billion for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an increase of $29.1 million. NIDDK provides funding for research to explore potential breakthroughs to provide new therapies to treat kidney diseases and slow or prevent progression. Total funding for NIDDK is $2.05 billion when mandatory Type 1 diabetes funding is included.
Within the Health Resources and Services Administration, organ transplantation would receive $23.5 million, identical to this year’s appropriation. This program supports initiatives to increase organ donation, including living donation.
The full House will vote on the bill later this year and the Senate Appropriations Committee will develop its version also. We will keep you apprised of the timing for future action so that you can reach out to your congressional delegation at that time.