Senate Appropriations Committee approves funding for Hemophilia Treatment Centers(HTC’s) to expand medical surveillance and research. This comes to us from our friends at the National Hemophilia Foundation.
On Thursday, June 14th, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its Labor HHS Appropriations Bill for 2013. NHF is thrilled to report that the Committee has provided separate funding of $6 M for the Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) for surveillance and research activities. Included in the Committee Report is language specifying that the funding is for “an expanded number of centers.” This language makes it clear that the Committee rejects the proposal in the President’s budget that would have limited the number of HTCs that participate in surveillance to 50.
Clearly NHF’s message at Washington Day was heard! The patient community was successful in getting 8 Senators to send a letter to the Appropriations Committee asking that funding be restored to the HTCs. The Senators who signed the letter are: Senators Whitehouse (D-RI), Coons (D-DE), Gillibrand (D-NY), Merkley (D-OR), Reed (D-RI), Shaheen (D-NH), Stabenow (D-MI), and Wyden (D-OR). In addition to the letter, NHF worked closely with the Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Committee Member Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) on this language.
Thank you for your efforts to preserve this important program for the hemophilia community. But, our work is not complete. The House must also pass its appropriations bill for 2013, and it is unclear when it will do so. The House Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee was scheduled to meet this week, and it has now been postponed until after the July 4th holiday. If the House cannot pass its bill, the House and Senate will put together a joint bill this fall. Final action on the 2013 appropriations process may not occur until after the election in November.
NHF will continue to advocate on behalf of HTCs and the individuals with bleeding and clotting disorders that they serve. We will reach out to chapters and volunteers whose Representatives serve on the House Appropriations Committee shortly to ask their members to support funding for HTCs. NHF will continue to provide the community with updates as they become available.