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Let’s Celebrate a Win for Medical Research

It’s time to celebrate. For the 4th year in a row you’ve helped secure at least a $2 billion increase for medical research funding!

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We did it! On Friday September 28th, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Act of 2019. The bill, a large government spending bill allocated funds for defense and domestic programs across the country.

You might ask why does the American Heart Association cares about a defense bill? The simple answer is that defense was only one part of the bill. Thanks to the tireless efforts of advocates like you, the Labor-HHS portion of the bill included another $2 billion funding increase for medical research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)!

This marks the 4th straight year that NIH has received an increase of at least $2 billion and it would not have been possible without your efforts! Adding to that history is the fact that this is the first time in 22 years that Labor-HHS funding has been wrapped up and signed into law before the beginning of the federal government’s new fiscal year.

You’re the Cure advocates sent thousands of e-mails to Congress urging them to increase NIH funding and thanks to you, Members of Congress know that investing in NIH is the best way to discover cures for our nation’s most deadly and expensive killer—heart disease, stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease. With continued, predictable, and robust investment in NIH, we can continue to make progress to prevent future generations from suffering from heart disease and stroke.

While this is time to celebrate, our work is not done. Unfortunately, despite a $7 million increase for CDC’s heart disease and stroke prevention in the House of Representatives’ proposed bill, the Senate version did not contain the increase. While the two legislative bodies worked to resolve differences in the two different versions of the bill, they opted to keep this program funding the same as last year's. While we are disappointed in that outcome we are thrilled that NIH funding will increase and lead to future cures.

We are delighted that NIH funding will increase, but heart disease has not yet been cured and there remains many unanswered questions. Further investment in NIH is needed. Congress will soon shift their attention to the next fiscal year’s budget and we will need to remain vigilant and look for opportunities to secure more money for medical research and programs that will help prevent and cure heart disease and stroke.

But for now, pat yourself on the back and celebrate that you helped get another $2 billion increase for NIH and that your dedication will help alleviate others from suffering from heart disease and stroke.

Thank you for all that you do!

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