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.
Continue reading Your Voice Counts: Help Us Fight for CDC Arthritis Funding Increases in 2017
Arthritis is no stranger to the men and women who serve our country. In fact, American veterans and service members are disproportionately affected by the disease, which impacts one in three U.S. military personnel compared to one in five civilians.
On Feb. 10, in a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, representatives of the Arthritis Foundation, along with the American College of Rheumatology, veterans organizations and service members, put a spotlight on arthritis in the military, calling the disease a “silent enemy” that threatens our nation through the disability it causes and the fortune it costs U.S. taxpayers in health care expenses.
Continue reading Let’s Conquer the Silent Enemy of Our Armed Forces
We first came to you with the need for swift action around the potential cuts to CDC arthritis funding in early November. CDC funding had been cut from $13 million dollars (which was only enough to support 12 states) to $9.5 million in 2015, which meant anywhere between 10-50% of program funding would be cut in the 12 states being supported by grants and community programs afforded by the budget.
We urged you to contact your members of Congress. With your help, in the first week, our Advocates contacted over 150 legislators via over 900 letters sent to the Hill.
We then shared with you the community programs that would be impacted by the maintenance of this funding cut in 2016, and you heard us. All in all, our Advocates contacted 161 members of Congress and sent over 1,000 letters to the Hill.
Your voice was heard! Today, as a result of your efforts, we got back half of the budget that was cut from CDC funding. Funding for arthritis in 2016 has been boosted by an additional $1.5 million. This is a huge milestone in our efforts to make sure the arthritis community is considered and accounted for when it comes to dispersing funding at the federal level. It’s because of you today that this victory was achieved.
Thank you to our team of over 125,000 passionate Advocates and Ambassadors for helping us achieve this victory and moving the needle one step further for the over 50 million people living with arthritis!
The Arthritis Foundation, and more importantly, the arthritis community need your help—before it’s too late. Nationwide funding for Arthritis support programs and research is comparatively lower than other government funded disease support and research. Prior to 2015, CDC Arthritis support and research received $13 million in funding, but, after recent budgetary cuts, those resources have been cut to $9.5 million annually.
A Realistic Look at Numbers
Realistically, the $13 million was only capable of creating funded programs for people living with arthritis in 12 states.
Think about it: 12 out of 50 states—for one of the world’s most prolific diseases—effecting millions of Americans including 300,000 children every year.
Continue reading The Time for Swift Action is NOW – Help Restore CDC Funding for Arthritis
When you think of life altering diseases, arthritis may not be the first to come to mind. But just because arthritis doesn’t carry with it the same mortality rate as conditions like cancer or heart disease, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact lives in severe ways. Arthritis can be invisible, but the pain and disability it causes is real. The lives that are affected by arthritis matter and they are being hindered every single day because of this debilitating disease. Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. It’s about more than not being able to open jars or play piano. It can cause needle-like crystals to form in the joints, it can completely deform bodies, it can hinder any and all activity. It can causes flares and chronic fever in children, it can weaken immune systems and make those who live with it dangerously susceptible to illness. Arthritis is serious, and so is the critical level of underfunding for arthritis programs and so is a major funding cut that is on the verge of being sustained.
When you look at funding for programs for diseases like diabetes or heart disease, what you’ll see is hundreds of millions of dollars. When you look at funding for arthritis — that supports research and evidence-based physical activity and community programs to help people cope with this disease — what do you see? Well last year, you saw $13 million dollars. $13 million. For a disease with the highest prevalence, the lowest level of funding was provided.
Continue reading Urgent Alert: We Need Your Help To Restore CDC Funding For Arthritis