Congress just wrapped up their work and adjourned for the year. How did our federal issues shake out?
Even though the last 12 months have been unpredictable, your hard work as You’re the Cure advocates remained steadfast and strong. And for that we THANK YOU!
Here is a rundown showing how our top federal issues did in 2016.
Medical Research Funding
It was a mixed bag for National Institutes of Health (NIH) heart and stroke research funding. With time running out this year, Congress unfortunately delayed passing a budget until later this spring. Although this means current research funding will remain pretty much the same until then, the $2 billion increase proposed in an earlier Senate budget bill is now in jeopardy.
However, Congress did pass the 21st Century Cures Act. Among other items, the Cures law gives the NIH an additional $4.8 billion over the next 10 years. There is no doubt your constant voice supporting more heart and stroke research funding made this victory possible. For this we should celebrate!
Throughout 2016, advocates were relentless in advocating for increased access to telestroke care. Together, we sent thousands of messages to lawmakers and made many visits to members’ offices in DC and back home.
As of today, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act has 171 cosponsors, with an even split of Republicans and Democrats! This support is crucial as we look to get the FAST Act over the finish line in 2017.
Healthy School Meals
Despite the inability of House and Senate leaders to reach an agreement on a new child reauthorization bill, schools across the country continue to serve healthy, tasty meals that students need to succeed in the classroom.
Promisingly, the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed a bipartisan agreement early this year, preserving important nutrition reforms and giving schools more resources to meet healthy standards. You're the Cure advocates aggressively backed the agreement, urging their Senators to give it their full support. This compromise will continue to serve as a model for future legislation regarding school meals when Congress revisits the issue in the years to come.