The CDC’s National Asthma Control Program has been helping the nation reduce the health care burden associated with asthma since 1999. As an active supporter of the program, the AARC joined 15 other organizations in writing to members of Congress on April 4 asking them to increase funding for the program to $30.596 million for FY 2017.
This level of funding — up by $1.5 million over FY16 levels — will allow more states to compete for funding for the critical resources they need to combat asthma. While a similar funding increase in FY16 upped the number of states taking part in the program to 23, cuts in previous years mean participation is down from a high of 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Additional funding in FY17 will increase the number of states to 27-29.
The CDC’s 6|18 Initiative has identified asthma as one of six priority areas where there is a significant opportunity to improve care and treatment. Additional funding for the National Asthma Control Program will help move those improvements forward through proposed interventions such as improving access/adherence to asthma medications/devices and expanding access to intensive self-management education and home visits aimed at reducing home asthma triggers for individuals whose asthma is not well controlled with guidelines-based medical management alone.
The letter that went out to Congress this week is just one example of how the AARC joins fellow organizations to support programs and services vital to the care of respiratory patients on Capitol Hill. Working closely with like-minded groups to ensure the respiratory therapist’s voice is heard, the Association signs on to similar letters several times a month.