ASN President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN on fiscal year 2020 proposed budget of $41.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health
On behalf of the more than 40 million children, adolescents, and adults living with kidney diseases in the United States, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) applauds the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations (LHHS) Subcommittee for their support of a Fiscal Year 2020 budget of $41.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an increase of $2 billion above the 2019 enacted level. ASN represents more than 20,000 physicians, scientists, nurses, and other health professionals dedicated to treating and studying kidney diseases to improve the lives of people with kidney diseases.
There are now 720,000 Americans living with kidney failure, and Medicare spends $35 billion managing kidney failure and $114 billion managing kidney diseases, 23% of all Medicare spending. Greater investment in kidney research should be an urgent priority to deliver better outcomes for patients and bring greater value to the Medicare program.
Congress made a commitment to treat all Americans with kidney failure through the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program—the only health condition for which Medicare automatically provides coverage regardless of age. This unique commitment underscores the imperative for Congress to foster innovation and discovery in kidney care.
While the LHHS appropriations falls short of ASN’s request from earlier this year for $2.5 billion for NIH, with a proportional increase to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the appropriated increase is a welcome effort to sustain current research levels and keep pace with medical inflation.
NIDDK funds the vast majority of federal research in kidney diseases and is a strategic partner in the federal government’s commitment to eradicating kidney diseases. ASN thanks the House LHHS Subcommittee and urges the full House Appropriations Committee and Congress to support this budget for NIH.