The American Lung Association advocates for policies at the federal level to benefit people with asthma and their families. We advocate for these policies before Congress and several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To learn more about our recommendations to improve federal policies to benefit people with asthma, see our National Asthma Public Policy Agenda and our 2021 Federal Action Plan.

In particular, the Lung Association has long advocated for increased funding for the three aspects of the federal government's response to asthma: research, programs and planning. We have consistently advocated for increased funding for research and clinical trials performed at NIH, the primary federal agency that conducts and funds medical research. Research conducted at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences within NIH has made important discoveries that have improved the treatment of asthma and the lives of people with asthma.

We have also urged Congress to provide funding to CDC to expand its asthma programs. CDC has a variety of programs targeting asthma. One such program funds state asthma planning so states can play a stronger role in improving the health and lives of people with asthma.

Further, the Lung Association is striving to achieve health equity and eliminate disparities. Blacks and American Indian/Alaska Natives have the highest current asthma rates compared to other races and ethnicities. In 2018, Blacks (10.9%) were 42 percent more likely than Whites (7.7%) to still have asthma. Additionally, current asthma rates are significantly higher among those with a family income below the poverty threshold as compared to above the poverty threshold. The Lung Association aims to address these differences and ensure that all individuals have access to what they need to be as healthy as possible. 

Finally, to address the roots of asthma, the Lung Association is fighting for policies that will remove or reduce asthma triggers from indoor and outdoor air. Learn more about our fight for healthy air.

Page last updated: December 8, 2020

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