The sequester has taken effect and the battle over the budget continues in Congress. Yet You’re the Cure advocates are preparing to go to Washington, DC to fight for critical heart and stroke funding. Our Western States Affiliate delegation, made up of survivors, caregivers, researchers, and physicians, represents seven of our ten states.
This tremendous group will urge legislators to restore funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that was recently cut by the sequester. While a 5% cut may not sound like a lot, the impact on the NIH was in fact truly significant: a 5% cut to the NIH budget equates to $1.6 billion. This cut reduced the number of grants given, cut more than 20,000 jobs nationwide and reduced economic activity by $3 billion. To repair this economic damage and to ensure the U.S. remains a leader in medical research, advocates will urge Congress to fund the NIH at $32 billion for 2014. Research remains our best hope to find more effective ways to prevent, treat and cure heart disease and stroke.
Advocates will also encourage Congress to allocate $35 million of prevention fund dollars to the Million Hearts Initiative. This will create a nationwide high blood pressure educational campaign. One in three Americans have high blood pressure but many either don’t know it or don’t have it under control. Someone with high blood pressure is four times more likely to die of a stroke and three times more likely to die of heart disease. The Million Hearts Initiative will helps Americans get this dangerous risk factor under control.
You can be a part of this important advocacy event. Send your “heart” to Washington and urge legislators to fund these lifesaving heart and stroke programs.