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Grant Olan

On April 23, the ASN Public Policy Board and Board of Advisors joined patient advocates from the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) for Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2015. Participants divided into teams of three or four and met with nearly 70 congressional offices to discuss two legislative priorities that would improve kidney care and patient health: 21st Century Cures and the Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2015 (H.R.1130/S.598).

This marks the third consecutive year ASN and AAKP have partnered together for advocacy days. “When the world’s largest professional kidney organization partners with America’s oldest

Grant Olan

ASN President Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD, FASN (second from left), and ASN Dialysis Advisory Group chair, Rajnish Mehrotra, MD, FASN (third from left), discuss the CKD Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2015 in the office of their congressional representative Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA), together with ASN Executive Director Tod Ibrahim

For the third consecutive year, the ASN Public Policy Board and Board of Advisors partnered with patient advocates from the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) in Washington, DC, in April for Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2015. ASN and AAKP met with nearly 70 congressional offices to raise awareness

Grant Olan

On June 23, 2015, ASN co-sponsored a Friends of NIDDK congressional reception in Washington, DC, to formally launch the new advocacy coalition. Senate Diabetes Caucus Co-Chair Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) spoke at the reception, which also featured National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Director Griffin P. Rodgers, MD.

” I want to thank you for your work on this coalition, and I can assure you that it will pay off,” Dr. Rodgers said. “We combat some of the most common, consequential and costly diseases … and we are committed to

Grant Olan

The clock is running out for the US Congress to pass a federal budget for 2016 before the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Confidence is low that Congress will meet the deadline. Many in Washington predict Congress will keep funding the government at last year’s funding levels until it can pass a full-year budget. But if Congress fails to achieve either a new budget for 2016 or agreement to keep government operating at 2015 funding levels, essential government services will shut down.

The last shutdown in 2013 lasted 16 days. Non-mandatory federal programs funded by Congress through the

Grant Olan

The dust is still settling from the election of November 4, 2014, when Republicans gained control of both chambers of Congress. Whether a Republican Congress and a Democratic administration can work together to address the many domestic and foreign challenges confronting the country today is one of the biggest questions as we head into 2015.

One thing most Democrats and Republicans agree on, though, is that medical research is one of the smartest investments the United States can make. Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the global leader in medical research, creates jobs, drives the economy, and most

Grant Olan

Owing to federal austerity measures Congress implemented starting in 2011, federal spending for non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs—ranging from medical research to public health, to natural resources and veterans services—is at the lowest level since the 1950s as a percent of GDP. These measures set caps on spending for both defense and non-defense discretionary spending programs through 2021. As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has lost nearly 25 percent of its purchasing power since 2003.

In response, 3200 organizations, including ASN, banded together in 2012 in support of NDD United, an advocacy coalition seeking to restore funding for

Grant Olan

On November 2, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act, a top ASN policy priority that opens the door for a funding increase for kidney research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The act raises the overall federal discretionary spending levels for 2016 and 2017. However, Congress still needs to pass a budget for 2016 that details exactly how much funding all the federal agencies—including NIH and the VA—can spend.

Congress avoided a government shutdown at the start of the 2016 fiscal year by passing a short-term appropriations bill

Grant Olan

On February 2, 2015, President Barack Obama released his proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016), the starting point of the congressional budget-making process.

In his State of the Union address, the president made the case that the US has turned the corner on the economy and is now in a stable position. As such, the president is now asking Congress to make investments in government services—including research—that have been underfunded since Congress instituted deficit reduction measures earlier in the decade.

The president is specifically calling on Congress to raise the 2016 spending

Grant Olan

On Thursday, July 7, the ASN Research Advocacy Committee participated in meetings at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) during the society’s annual Kidney Research Advocacy Day (Table 1). ASN Research Advocacy Committee Chair Frank C. Brosius, MD, and ASN Public Policy Board Chair John R. Sedor, MD, FASN, also participated in a first-ever ASN meeting with the White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday, July 8.

The Research Advocacy Committee urged the NIH and VA to pool resources and knowledge toward uncovering new discoveries and innovations for preventing

Mark Lukaszewski and Grant Olan

Mark your calendars for World Kidney Day on March 13, 2014. Celebrated on the second Thursday of March every year, World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) to raise awareness about kidney disease. World Kidney Day started in 2006 and highlights a different theme every year. This year’s theme is “Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Aging.”

The older adult population is rapidly growing. More than 40 million Americans are over 65 today compared to 25 million in 1980. Furthermore, nearly half of those who are 70