Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released the Senate Appropriations Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Bill (S. 3295), which includes funding recommendations for many MS Society priority issues. 

This bill included funding recommendations for two issues from the 2012 Public Policy Conference. For these issues, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Lifespan Respite program, the Committee is making the following recommendations for Fiscal Year 2013 funding levels:  
  • NIH should be funded at $30.72 Billion, and
  • The Lifespan Respite program should be funded at $4.99 Million.
The Public Policy Office spent the year also focusing on additional priority issues which were included in the same appropriations bill. These funding recommendations include $40 Million for the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN), $3.16 Billion for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), $3.47 Billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and $11.7 Billion for the Social Security Administration’s Limitations of Administrative Expenses (LAE). 

The Public Policy Office would like to give a “shout out” to those who participated in person or virtually during this March’s Hill day—where Activists asked to increase funding for NIH and the Lifespan Respite Program.  At the 2012 Public Policy Conference in March, MS activists met with legislators to urge $5 Million for Lifespan Respite and $32 Billion for NIH in Fiscal Year 2013. During this difficult budget climate, programs do not typically receive increased funding. It is remarkable that in this budget environment, both programs received an increase and Lifespan Respite was penciled in for nearly our exact request!  Your hard work is truly paying off!

It is important to remember that these are funding level recommendations and do not guarantee the level at which these programs and agencies are funded. These requests have to be reconciled between the House and Senate and then approved by the President to become final. We still have a few more steps to go to secure this funding but we are on the right path because of all of you MS activists who called, e-mailed, and met with legislators!  All of your connections are helping to move us closer to a world free of MS!

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