By Kevin Longino, Interim Chief Executive Officer, National Kidney Foundation
Each year, federal funding for kidney disease must be appropriated by Congress. Important work is being done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the Health Services and Resource Administration (HRSA) to advance kidney disease research and improve access to kidney transplantation. However, this work can’t continue or grow without funding. This is why we need your help. Please email your members of Congress and request that they increase federal funding for kidney disease research and programs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chronic Kidney Disease Program
To address the social and economic impact of kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation worked with Congress to launch the Chronic Kidney Disease Program at CDC. Since then, Congress has provided annual funding to sustain this critical program. Cost-effective early testing and treatment can slow the progression of kidney disease, delay complications, and prevent or postpone kidney failure. Urge Congress to provide $2.2 million for the CKD program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, an increase of $100,000.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Medicare spends $87 billion annually to care for patients with kidney disease, including nearly $29 billion for individuals with end stage renal disease (ESRD), yet NIH funding for kidney disease research is only about $600 million annually. Additional funding is needed so that more researchers can investigate ways to stop kidney disease and improve treatments for those who have it. Urge Congress to support increased funding for kidney disease by providing $2.066 billion for NIDDK in FY 2016.
HRSA Division of Organ Transplantation
The HRSA Division of Transplantation (DoT) is responsible for national implementation of policies and oversight governing the distribution of organs to those awaiting an organ transplant. In addition, DoT also helps support programs aimed at increasing the number of donor organs. For example, the National Donor Assistance Program has helped more than 4,800 individuals obtain a transplant by assisting living donors with out-of-pocket expenses such as travel and subsistence that are not reimbursed by insurance, a health benefit program, or any other state or federal program. The National Donor Assistance Program enables more individuals to consider being a living donor without having to worry about unreimbursed expenses related to donation. Urge Congress to provide $26.55 million for organ donation and transplantation programs for the HRSA DoT, $3,000,000 above the President’s request.