CHICAGO, IL | May 1, 2019
Statement of Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the release of the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) House appropriations bill on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies:
“The American Lung Association commends the House Appropriations Committee; its Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies; and Chairs Nita Lowey and Rosa DeLauro for significantly increasing the federal investment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, especially at the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and the Climate and Health Program. The Lung Association urges the Senate Appropriations Committee to include similar increases for these programs in its FY20 bill.
“Chairs Lowey and DeLauro have continued the bipartisan tradition of increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health to ensure that better diagnostics, treatments and cures for lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma and other lung diseases along with the myriad of other diseases and conditions facing millions of Americans are developed. The robust funding increase passed by the Subcommittee will save lives.
“By significantly increasing funding for the Office on Smoking and Health, the Committee is taking bold action to help end the e-cigarette epidemic that is gripping our nation. E-cigarette use among high school students increased by 78 percent in just one year, and youth using e-cigarettes were over three times more likely to become frequent smokers. CDC works closely with state and local health departments to help them respond on the front lines of this public health crisis.
“The increase in funding for CDC’s Climate and Health Program addresses the urgent health crisis of climate change. As our recent 2019 “State of the Air” report shows, Americans are already experiencing health harms as a result of the changing climate, including through unhealthy air pollution and extreme weather events. This further investment in the Climate and Health Program will allow more states and cities to plan and protect their citizens from these impacts and allow the entire country to learn from their work.
“In order for these critical investments to be signed into law, Congress must come to a bipartisan agreement to increase the caps for FY20 to avoid catastrophic funding cuts. Such cuts would seriously threaten CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health and the CDC Climate and Health Programs, other key lung health programs, and many more lifesaving nondefense discretionary programs. The nation must increase our investments in public health protections – not slash funding for them.
“We thank Chairs Lowey and DeLauro for their leadership on improving lung health, and call on all members of Congress to support a budget deal to raise the caps.”
For media interested in speaking with a lung health or federal funding expert, contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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