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Q: When is a $2 billion raise bad?
A: When 2.5% goes to diabetes while 23% goes to cancer, 13% goes to AIDS and 9% goes to heart disease.

You're probably hearing about the $2 billion budget increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Congress, and others, are so very happy about this. People with diabetes shouldn;t be happy about this. Why?

Diabetes will get just 2.5% of that $2 billion increase. That's a minuscule $50 million. Compare that to AIDS, which will receive $200+ million (13%) of the $2 billion increase. Remember that AIDS killed 17,000 Americans in 1997 while diabetes killed more than 180,000.

Cancer will receive $400+ million (23%) of the $2 billion increase. That's more than the entire yearly diabetes research budget of $350 million! And cancer organizations are demanding even more. They want Congress to double the cancer research budget to $6 billion next year!

Will someone please explain to me why people with diabetes should be so happy with this? For the last twelve years, while the NIH budget increased 100%, the diabetes budget grew just 35%. Because of that scientists lost almost $1 billion in funding to try and find a cure.

Now diabetes receives just 2.5% of a $2 billion increase and people with diabetes supposed to be happy? What about making up for the last twelve years of neglect?

This $2 billion does not mean that Congress has made finding a cure for diabetes a national priority. Period. End of discussion. And until Congress makes up for those 12 years of neglect, we will continue to fight.

You can help. Please contact the congressional candidates in your area and ask them to show their support by returning the Diabetes '98 Survey. So far, 477 candidates for Congress (62%) have returned it. Your flood of emails last week raised the pressure. Keep it up! Visit the ADA website for details.

Many thanks for your continued support. Together we can make finding a cure for diabetes a national priority. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Joe LaMountain
National Director of Advocacy
American Diabetes Association
1660 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(f) 703-549-8748
(e) jlamountain@diabetes.org

Posted 1 November 1998



                 
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