The President’s budget released earlier this month is a starting point for a conversation that will continue in and out of Washington throughout 2015. This year, we’re glad to report that many of our priorities are reflected, and critical initiatives given the funding they desperately need to help reduce cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Some highlights include:
- A $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, with a special emphasis on precision medicine, a new approach to disease treatment and prevention that will help target chronic illnesses like cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- A $13 million increase in physical education grants.
- More than $215 million for tobacco prevention via the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including $110 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
- $130 million for the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, including $4 million for Million Hearts Initiative, a program that brings together communities, health systems, non-profits, and private-sector partners to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
- More than $21 million for WISEWOMAN, which provides low-income, under-insured, and uninsured women with the services they need to prevent cardiovascular disease. Since 2008, the program has provided more than 170,000 screenings.
- A four-year extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which in 2013 covered more than 8.1 million children. Funding will come through an increase in the federal tax on cigarettes and small cigars.
As the budget makes its way through Congress, we’ll continue to watch and report back on how heart-healthy priorities are faring. With you support and a pledge to hold our elected officials accountable, together we can ensure that our representatives pass a budget that does everything it can to reduce the number one and number five killers in America.