Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer in response to the Senate's passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor-HHS and Defense appropriations bills:
"The Senate’s passage of a $2 billion increase in funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a victory for lung health and for lung disease patients across the country. Last spring, LUNG FORCE Heroes – men and women whose lives have been forever changed by a lung cancer diagnosis – had nearly 200 meetings with their Senators and Representatives to request this NIH funding increase. The American Lung Association is pleased that the collective voices of our LUNG FORCE Heroes were heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill.
"The Lung Association is, however, disappointed that increased investment in the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not received the same kind of priority. Neither the House nor the Senate provided the much-needed increase in funding for CDC that the Lung Association and many in the public health community had called for – even as Americans, particularly children, face growing health threats from extreme weather events and new tobacco products. We thank the Senate for its ongoing support for the Climate and Health Program, which was zeroed out in the House’s bill.
"The Lung Association continues to appreciate the leadership of Chairman Shelby and Vice Chairman Leahy in ensuring that these critical bills are free of harmful new policy riders, including those that would weaken public health protections.
"On behalf of the millions of patients and their families across the U.S., we urge conferees to continue to reject harmful riders, to adopt the Senate’s $2 billion NIH funding increase and to maintain funding levels that support critical public health programs funded by CDC, including the Climate and Health Program.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.