On December 16th, Congressional leaders announced they had reached a bipartisan agreement to fund the Government. The agreement includes several major legislative victories for heart and stroke advocates across the country! These wins would not have been possible without the strong voice of You’re the Cure advocates so please take a moment to pat yourself on the back and celebrate! You truly are a relentless force for longer healthier lives!
- Funding increase for National Institutes of Health (NIH) including additional funding for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
- Funding increase for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention programs including WISEWOMAN.
- Moves the federal tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 across the country.
While the agreement contains several of the Associations top priorities; including funding for heart and stroke research and prevention programs at the NIH and the CDC as well as moving the federal tobacco sales age to 21, the bill does not go far enough in certain areas.
Unfortunately, Congress opted not to deal with legislation that would protect patients from receiving surprise medical bills and did not go far enough to address the youth tobacco epidemic by removing highly appealing flavored products like mint, menthol and fruit flavored electronic cigarettes.
Please be assured that the AHA will not give up on these critically important legislative goals. We must look ahead to 2020 and find ways to ensure that lawmakers continue to hear from heart and stroke advocates. We need to encourage our federal lawmakers to do more and we won’t stop until we’ve achieved our goals. Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication this year.
The policy wins in the federal omnibus are a BIG deal and will help everyone in our country lead longer healthier lives. Thank you for being such a relentless force and have a happy and safe holiday season!
For more information on the omnibus package, you can read our official statement here.