According to the CDC, an estimated 53 million U.S. adults have arthritis and the number is expected to grow to 67 million by 2030. With the increasing prevalence of arthritis, more support is needed.
If you’re familiar with our core advocacy efforts and priorities, you know that increasing funding for critical arthritis research and community programs is a significant goal of ours. Last year, we brought you along on our journey to fight cuts to the CDC’s arthritis budget.
Background: Our Fight to Reduce 2016 Funding Cuts
In 2015, as the number of people who live with arthritis continued growing, 2016 federal funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Arthritis Program was cut by $3.5 million (25 percent). Not only is the CDC Arthritis Program the only federal program dedicated solely to arthritis, it was the only CDC disease program to receive cuts last year.
When we brought this problem to your attention, you helped us make an immediate impact. With your help, we made a difference. After hearing from you, the voice for people who have arthritis, $1.5 million was restored for the CDC’s 2016 Arthritis Program, bringing total funding up to $11 million. But as we told you back then – $11 million isn’t enough. Even the original $13.5 million budget was only enough to support programs in 12 states. With an additional budget cut, many community programs are now underfunded or have been eliminated in 2016.
Looking Ahead: Our Fight for 2017 Funding
Legislators are now considering funding for 2017, and with your proactive help, we’ll do even better this year.
Yesterday, on behalf of the millions of adults and children in the U.S. who have arthritis, we sent Tom Cole and Rosa DeLauro of the U.S. House of Representatives, requests to appropriate $16 million to the CDC’s 2017 Arthritis Program. If appropriated, these funds will support research, public health, awareness and intervention programs, and many other initiatives that people with arthritis need and deserve.
Your voice worked before. It will work again. You can read the letters sent to Rep. Cole and Rep. DeLauro here. More importantly, though, we need your help. Take action today. Ask your Congress member to support funding of the CDC Arthritis program.