JDF Washington Report
Volume III, No. 6
February 16, 2000
Minnesota Child Advocates Lobby the Statehouse!February 14, children with diabetes from across the state visited the Minnesota state capitol in Minneapolis as part of the first-ever state wide JDF Children's Assembly. The children met with their state legislators to put a face on diabetes and to ask for Minnesota lawmakers to help them find a cure. The JDF Minnesota Children's Assembly was modeled after the JDF Children's Congress in Washington, DC in June 1999.
Minnesota State Representative Todd Van Dellen introduced a bill to urge that $10 million be allocated for research at the University of Minnesota Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation. If passed, the bill would provide the University with funds for research in islet cell transplantation and distribution. Currently there are 20 House Representatives and 8 Senators signed onto the legislation. The $10 million would come from the Minnesota tobacco settlement proceeds. All states now have tobacco settlement money available to them and JDF is working with other states in securing a portion of the proceeds for diabetes research funding.
JDF advocates Diane Lefty and Pam Sagan Co-Chaired the Assembly. We wish to congratulate them and all of the children on this incredibly effort and wish them success in passing the legislation!
President's Budget Addresses DRWG Despite Shortfall on Funding RequestDespite JDF's concern over the recently released FY 2001 President's budget proposal of a 5.6% increase over last year's NIH funding levels, we are pleased that our advocacy has resulted in increased attention for diabetes.
The Diabetes Research Working Group and other diabetes references are mentioned in the text accompanying the budget. The text reads:
"This year, the budget proposes an additional $1 billion for NIH, for a total funding level of nearly $19 billion. These resources will allow NIH to continue to support new and expanded research that will lead to new medical advances such as those referenced in the Diabetes Research Working Group study."
"The knowledge gained from investing in biomedical research has already yielded a powerful information base that is steadily growing and paving the way for concrete advances. For example, major clinical studies have demonstrated that is people with diabetes can control their blood sugar levels very carefully, they can reduce or prevent development of complications of the disease. A sustained investment in NIH will enable scientists to seize emerging research opportunities in diabetes and other diseases that are a tremendous burden on health in the United States and abroad."
We have much more work to do to fully implement the DRWG recommendations – especially those with Type 1 diabetes, but thanks to your efforts, we are making progress.
Senator Specter Offers Legislation Supporting Increase in President's BudgetSenate Labor/HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced S. Res. 253 to "express the sense of the Senate that the federal investment in biomedical research should be increased by $2,700,000,000 in FY 2001." This resolution proposes a 15% increase over last year's NIH funding levels which maintains the effort to double the NIH budget over five years. The bill was introduced on Feb. 7, the same day as the release of the President's budget which calls for a $1 billion or 5.6% increase over last year's federal funding levels. Senator Specter was joined by a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues voicing concern that current proposed funding levels are not sufficient for "…a capitol investment in the health of America (and) for cutting costs for Medicare and Medicaid; there is no better investment." Other original cosponsors include Senators Harkin (D-IA), Mack (R-FL), Mikulski (D-MD), Frist (R-TN), Schumer (D-NY), Sarbanes (D-MD), Collins (R-ME), DeWine (R-OH), Hutchinson (R-AR), Snowe (R-ME), Cochran (R-MS), and Santorum (R-PA).
National Donor Day Resolution Passes House Floor; JDF Thanked!Representative Karen Thurman (D-FL) introduced with fifty other original cosponsors of H. Con. Res. 247 expressing congressional support for "National Donor Day" celebrated on February 12. The resolution passed without opposition on February 14. See Washington Report No. 5 (last week) February 9 for details of the legislation.
After opening remarks by Rep. Thurman and her colleagues, she specifically thanked JDF during her floor statement for bringing the importance of organ, blood, tissue and bone marrow donation and National Donor Day to Congress' attention. If you wish to write a thank you note to Representative Thurman, please send correspondence to The Honorable Karen Thurman, US House of Representatives, Washington, DC, 20515.
Rep. Charles Canady Sends Letters to HHS and Congress about Animal InsulinRepresentative Charles Canady (R-FL) sent letters to HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, House Health and Environment Subcommittee Chair Michael Bilirakis and House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chair Dan Burton about the issue of unavailable beef-derived insulin in the United States. The Congressman has constituents in his district that insist they are unable to tolerate synthetic-based insulin, which the majority of people with Type 1 diabetes use. Rep. Canady is hoping that his congressional colleagues will take the opportunity in upcoming Food and Drug Administration hearings to further explore this issue. To review JDF's position statement on animal insulins, please go to http://www.jdf.org/pubinfo/news120699d.html.
JDF's Promise to Remember Me Campaign 2000 in Full SwingJDF advocates are really making incredible progress with scheduling district congressional meetings and attending local public events to meet and photograph Members of Congress and talk to them about helping to find a cure for diabetes. Go to the Promise Campaign web site at www.jdf.org/promise2000 to view all of the meetings. Many more photos and meeting summaries are on their way! Members of Congress are asked to support increased funding for NIH and diabetes research and they are given a JDF drafted letter to send to NIH supporting diabetes research as a top priority. If you are interested in participating in the Promise to Remember Me Campaign 2000, please visit the web site for contact numbers in your state or call the Washington office at 800-533-1868 ext. 20 or 17. Keep up the GREAT work!
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Government Relations
1400 I Street, NW #500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1VOTE ex. 5 (800-533-1868)
Posted 20 February 2000
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