Looking beyond the election — APA and coalitions still advocating for improved research funding

APA urged increased funding for public health agencies including NIH and CDC

Congress is out of session until November 15, 2010. If the House and Senate remain under Democratic leadership after the election, congressional leaders will push for Congress to enact the spending bills for Fiscal Year 2011 during the ‘lame duck’ session of Congress. However, if Republicans take over one or both houses of Congress, that party’s leadership will insist that Congress wait until the new members are seated in January to deal with this year’s leftover spending issues.

APA and the coalitions it belongs to are continuing to press for increased funding for public health programs. At this writing, 139 scientific and advocacy organizations have cosigned a letter from the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, urging Congress to “finaliz[e] the FY 2011 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill without delay. The proposed $1 billion increase for the NIH will sustain the pace of progress in the fight against many of our most serious diseases, create new scientific opportunities, support high-technology, and result in high-wage jobs in all 50 states. “

As a member of the Coalition for Health Funding, a group that advocates for increased funding for all of the Public Health Service agencies (e.g. NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality), APA has cosigned a letter to Congress which states, “Given our nation’s overwhelming health needs, we respectfully urge you to swiftly complete action on the FY 2011 appropriations bills. In so doing, we recommend you provide each of these important public health agencies with the highest of the funding increases proposed by either the House or Senate.”

APA also joined members of the CDC Coalition to request Congress provide the highest possible funding level for CDC’s FY 2011 “core programs,” which include bioterrorism preparedness; chronic disease prevention; eliminating health disparities, combatting the tobacco and obesity epidemics, as well as community programs in injury control and violence prevention; health promotion efforts in communities including schools and workplaces; and initiatives to prevent heart and lung disease, cancer, stroke and other chronic diseases.