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Your Support at Work - Appropriations Bill a Lung Health Victory

(May 10, 2017)

Thank you! We are celebrating a decisive victory for lung health and those living with a lung disease, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Congress passed and the President signed the final Fiscal Year 2017 funding bill. We are very pleased that leaders from both sides of the aisle funded programs essential to lung health while also rejecting almost all “poison-pill riders” that would have weakened key lung health protections.

You can feel proud that, with your support, our sustained advocacy efforts helped influence leaders to produce a bipartisan bill that preserves key investments at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $2 billion to reach $34 billion. This increase at NIH supports continued progress toward finding better treatments and early detection methods, and ultimately cures, for diseases and conditions that impact Americans, including lung cancer, asthma and COPD. The bill also maintains key clean air programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Other funding amounts for key lung health programs include: 

  • $205 million for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health
  • $10 million for the CDC’s Climate and Health Program
  • $29 million for the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program
  • $142 million for CDC’s Tuberculosis Program
  • $228 million for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s State and Local Air Quality Management Grants
  • $60 million for the EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Program
  • $8 million for EPA’s Radon Program
  • $635 million for FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

The Lung Association has been advocating for health funding and fighting against harmful riders in the FY17 bill for nearly a year, and this stunning outcome shows your support at work, achieving real results that protect our health. We reported in April on how our LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day brought together our volunteer LUNG FORCE Heroes – from all 50 states – to share their stories with Congress to advocate for increased, robust funding for the NIH. That was just one of the strategic advocacy efforts made possible by your support that helped lead to this victory.

While we celebrate this huge win for health, our work is far from done. The bill still contains cuts to overall EPA and CDC funding, and we know that sustained investments in these agencies are crucial to protecting public health. It also contains a rider that will encourage the burning of biomass to generate electricity, a provision we opposed as it would harm air quality and the health of Americans. Plus, now the whole process starts over with the FY18 budget, with many anticipated funding cuts and riders that will again require our sustained and coordinated effort to oppose.

The Lung Association is dedicated to turning your support into lifesaving action, and this funding bill, while far from perfect, is a clear victory for public health. With your continued support, our vital mission will continue and all Americans will breathe easier. 

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