We received the following call to action from the American Diabetes Association and urge all of our readers to take a minute to make their collective voices heard.
Last year, Congress was unable to pass any spending bills, including one which would increase funding for diabetes research and programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Diabetes funding is in jeopardy. Last month, the White House strongly urged Congress to reduce spending on several of the Fiscal Year 2003 spending bills. The bill that funds diabetes research and prevention programs is facing serious cuts.
Both the Administration and the Chairmen of the respective Appropriations Subcommittees in the House and Senate have stated that they are committed to doubling the budget at NIH. However, the legislation that is in the House and Senate proposes that the NIH budget will fall well below the $27.3 billion needed to complete the fifth and final year of the bipartisan commitment to double the NIH budget by FY 2003. As a result, diabetes research funding will not receive the expected 10% increase over FY02 levels.
At a time when diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate - with rates rising more than 60% since 1990 - we cannot let the federal government forget about its responsibility to fund this serious disease. Diabetes has been significantly underfunded for many years, and the current proposals for FY03 would carry on that pattern.
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What to do:
We need you to contact your two senators and one representative and urge them to fight for higher spending levels for diabetes at NIH and CDC. You can click here to find their contact information.
What to tell them:
- You are a diabetes advocate because...
- Diabetes funding at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control should not be cut.
- Rates of diabetes have increased 60 percent since 1990.
- Over 200,000 Americans die each year from diabetes
- Diabetes funding at NIH and CDC should receive significant increases. Do not renege on Congress's promise to double funding at NIH!
Source: American Diabetes Association