It has been a busy summer in Washington, D.C. Even though the effort around health reform has taken many of the headlines, there has been a lot of action around some of our other heart healthy and stroke smart policies.
Below is a rundown.
Heart and Stroke Research
In late spring, Congress passed a budget that lasts until the end of September. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) received a $2 billion increase! Thanks to the relentless work from You’re the Cure advocates, this is the second consecutive year the NIH was given a funding boost! Even more remarkable, the increase came at the same time the President called for a NIH cut.
Now Congress is working on next fiscal year’s budget, and despite the President's continual insistence of a cut, NIH funding seems to be moving in the right direction. A draft bill from the US House would give NIH a $1.1 billion increase next fiscal year. Although we still believe another $2 billion increase is needed, we are encouraged by this draft bill.
The Senate has yet to release their budget bills, so there is still time to make your voice heard! Take action now and urge your members of Congress to make NIH funding a priority!
The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act would allow Medicare to cover any stroke telemedicine, or telestroke, consultation no matter where the patient lives. This will allow more patients to access critical medical care when having a stroke, thus improving their recoveries. Right now, 141 Senators and House members have cosponsored the bill! However, the more support we can get, the better the chance the FAST Act will make it to the President’s desk.