Lupus Advocates Strength Perseveres Once Again as the House of Representatives Passes Law to Provide Record-Breaking Lupus Funds
Lupus advocates have prevailed once again! They went, as I like to say, “All gas, no brakes.” They have consistently and gracefully kept their foot on the pedal. In 2020 Congress approved about $19 million for lupus-specific program funding, which surpasses the previous year by a whopping $4 million.
On December 20, 2020, the House of Representatives announced their latest approval for Lupus Funding that will only further advance Lupus research and provide even more resources, lupus treatments, and answers for our Lupus warriors and their families.
A $21.5 million package has been approved for new funding for lupus-specific research and education programs that will be implemented in fiscal 2021. Congress also validated approximately $42.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health.
This package is an omnibus and includes the following; $10 million for the Lupus Research Program located at the Department of Defense (D.O.D.), which is now the second consecutive year after gaining $5 million, three years in a row when it first started; $2 million which is an increase of about $750,000 from 2020 for the Office of Minority Health; and $9.5 million for the National Lupus Patient Registry which is another $1 million surge since each of the first three years since it started; $49.9 billion which is a $1.25 billion jump for the National Institutes of Health, also known to be the largest public funder of lupus search in the entire world.
These numbers mean so much more than a dollar amount. These numbers signify the research for lupus that will dig even deeper. These programs will now be able to understand and gauge lupus better, and continue to work diligently in order to find and develop more lupus treatments.
Additionally, these numbers mean that those close to me - my Aunt Linda, my future grandmother-in-law, and my mom’s best friend - who all struggle with lupus will benefit from this. Many other warriors and families will also benefit from this. These potential treatments that can come from this omnibus package and lupus donations will only progress.
Furthermore, individuals like myself, who are positive for Lupus, who have it in their genes and could be diagnosed at any time, can be educated as well. We can learn the new and improved appropriate precautions, utilize them on top of what we are already doing, and continue to increase our overall health. We can also help others be the healthiest version of themselves in order to do their best to not be diagnosed.
Moreover, this throttle means an advancement in over 1.5 million lives in just the United States because of one omnibus package, one law passed by our legislation, and actions taken to advocate for the immune disease that many struggle and fight for daily.
Lupus advocates have continued to push further and further each year as Federal committees have continued to pass these funds accordingly, time period after time period. To help make this even more clear, Lupus.org explains, “Federal funding for lupus-specific programs has now increased in each of the last eight fiscal years dating back 2014, and over that time period, funding has increased by nearly 200 percent to its 20201 levels of $21.5 million” (Lupus.org). The most significant aspect of this funding is the fact this is the most funding Congress has approved for lupus programs in a year before.
Along with this news, I wanted to acknowledge how incredible our Lupus advocates are and the job they continue to perform is outstanding. Lupus.org states, “As with any advocacy victory, we would not be in this position without the lupus advocates who never stopped raising their voice throughout 2020. Whether it was participating in the 2020 Digital Lupus Advocacy Summit in March, or meeting virtually with elected officials during the August recess, every email, phone call, and social media message from lupus advocates to their members of Congress brought us to this moment” (Lupus.org). This means that each of you reading this, who have paid it forward to Lupus whether it be from Inspira or outside of Inspira, that we are one step closer to finding a cure for Lupus…TOGETHER!
You can read further about this substantial omnibus package at lupus.org, the expectations of this legislation as it is projected to be passed in September 2021, and the next steps this wonderful news entails at Lupus.org! and about the next steps.