The Appropriations Committees are responsible for setting specific expenditures of money by the U.S. Government. An appropriations bill sets aside money for specific federal government departments, agencies and programs. Appropriations bills are passed annually, with the funding covering one fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30).
There are 12 subcommittees for both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.
On July 13, the House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee approved its bill to fund health programs in FY18. The Subcommittee agreed to provide HHS with $157.9 billion, a reduction of about two percent (or $3 billion) from the current level. For NIH, the Subcommittee provides $35.2 billion, which is $8.6 billion above the Trump budget request and $1.1 billion above current spending.
Investing in kidney research is crucial to improve the cost-effectiveness of kidney care and clinical outcomes of the more than 20 million Americans with kidney disease.
- In 1972, Congress made a commitment to treat all Americans with kidney failure through the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program – the only health entitlement program that provides coverage regardless of age or disability.
- Research would save Medicare money and ensure better quality of life for patients.
- ESRD patients make up less than 1% of the Medicare population. However, they account for nearly 7% of the Medicare budget – a total of nearly $35 billion annually.
- Medicare spends more money annually on kidney disease ($77 billion) than NIH spends annually on kidney research ($591 million).