Today, President Obama will sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1), a $787 billion economic stimulus bill as passed by Congress late last week. The stimulus bill includes $650 million for a Prevention and Wellness Fund that will provide for evidence-based clinical and community-based prevention programs (mainly funded through the CDC) and $10 billion for research at the National Institutes of Health (approximately $140 million for the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases).
Thanks to your advocacy efforts and that of the Arthritis Foundation, research and public health provisions with the aim to target more resources to arthritis research and prevention have been included in the final bill. The details of the legislation, as well as the rules and regulations governing the specifics still need to be determined. However, the bill calls for investing in evidence-backed, community-based disease prevention programs and includes accountability measures to ensure the funding is being used to directly improve the health of Americans.
The Arthritis Foundation will be advocating to the new Obama Administration that 1) Arthritis research needs to benefit from this stimulus funding and 2) Arthritis Foundation programs are evidence and community based prevention programs that need to be supported throughout the nation. Stay tuned as more details of this massive legislation emerge!