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.
In June 2016, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $34.1 billion for National Institutes of Health (NIH) which is a $2 billion increase above the current spending level and provides a $75 million increase for National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
In April 2017, Congressional leaders reached a government funding agreement through the end of September that includes $2 billion in new spending for NIH.
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.
- Today, the nearly 450,000 Americans with kidney failure constitute less than 1 percent of the Medicare population but nearly 7 percent of the Medicare budget – a total of nearly $35 billion annually.
- Less than 1 percent invested in NIH kidney research ($591 million) compared to annual Medicare cost for all patients with kidney disease ($77 billion).