Congress Passes Omnibus Bill, Heads to White House - Approves $2 billion to NIH

Congress
By David White

On Wednesday, May 3rd, the House passed a bipartisan $1 trillion omnibus spending bill by a vote of 309-118, and the Senate passed the bill 79-18 on Thursday, May 4th. The spending package avoided a government shutdown and funds the government at updated levels through the end of September.  

The legislation includes a top American Society of Nephrology (ASN) advocacy priority: a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The push for increased NIH funding was led by ASN in conjunction with peer societies and was the focus of the advocacy efforts of ASN and the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) members and leadership during the recent Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2017

Over the last several months, while Congress was preparing the funding package, ASN consistently maintained that a $2 billion increase in funding for the NIH was critical to scientific breakthroughs that will enable the innovation and discovery necessary to improve the lives of all Americans, including more than 40 million living with kidney diseases.

The request for increased funding was supported by the findings in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in January 2017, National Institutes of Health: Kidney Disease Research Funding and Priority Setting. The report points to the inadequacies of federally funded medical research for kidney diseases in the face of a staggering burden on patients and taxpayers.
  
Despite this commitment to care for patients with kidney diseases, the report demonstrates a significant gap between investment in research and the disease burden. Annually, the federal government spends more on the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program (nearly $32 billion) than it invests in the entire National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget ($30 billion). With just $564 million dedicated to kidney disease research at NIH, ASN’s analysis of the report reveals that the equivalent of 1.7% of the annual total cost of care for kidney failure is invested in research to improve therapies and discover cures.  

ASN thanked House Committee on Appropriations Chair Representative Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ), Ranking Member Representative Rita M. Lowey (NY), Senate Committee on Appropriations Chair Senator Thad Cochran (MS), and Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (VT) for their continued support for NIH funding.

The legislation now goes to the White House to be signed by President Donald Trump.

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Congress
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On Wednesday, May 3rd, the House passed a bipartisan $1 trillion omnibus spending bill by a vote of 309-118, and the Senate passed the bill 79-18 on Thursday, May 4th. The spending package avoided a government shutdown and funds the government at updated levels through the end of September.  

The legislation includes a top American Society of Nephrology (ASN) advocacy priority: a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The push for increased NIH funding was led by ASN in conjunction with peer societies and was the focus of the advocacy efforts of ASN and the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) members and leadership during the recent Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2017

Over the last several months, while Congress was preparing the funding package, ASN consistently maintained that a $2 billion increase in funding for the NIH was critical to scientific breakthroughs that will enable the innovation and discovery necessary to improve the lives of all Americans, including more than 40 million living with kidney diseases.

The request for increased funding was supported by the findings in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in January 2017, National Institutes of Health: Kidney Disease Research Funding and Priority Setting. The report points to the inadequacies of federally funded medical research for kidney diseases in the face of a staggering burden on patients and taxpayers.
  
Despite this commitment to care for patients with kidney diseases, the report demonstrates a significant gap between investment in research and the disease burden. Annually, the federal government spends more on the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program (nearly $32 billion) than it invests in the entire National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget ($30 billion). With just $564 million dedicated to kidney disease research at NIH, ASN’s analysis of the report reveals that the equivalent of 1.7% of the annual total cost of care for kidney failure is invested in research to improve therapies and discover cures.  

ASN thanked House Committee on Appropriations Chair Representative Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ), Ranking Member Representative Rita M. Lowey (NY), Senate Committee on Appropriations Chair Senator Thad Cochran (MS), and Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (VT) for their continued support for NIH funding.

The legislation now goes to the White House to be signed by President Donald Trump.