President Biden signs omnibus bill to fund the federal government for FY22
March 11, 2022
On March 11, President Biden signed H.J.Res75
, legislation that provided funding for federal government agencies and activities for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 (FY22).
Thanks to the commitment of MS activists across the country, many of the Society’s priorities are funded within this bill.
- $20 million for the MS Research Program at the Department of Defense, this funding level is consistent with the Society’s ask for the program for FY22.
- $44.959 billion for the National Institutes of Health, a $2.025 billion increase over the NIH’s funding level in 2021.
- $8.1 million for the Lifespan Respite Program, a $1 million increase over the 2021 funding level.
The bill also funded other important priorities benefitting people living with and affected by MS:
- $8.5 billion for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an increase of $582 million from last year. This includes $5 million for the National Neurologic Conditions Surveillance System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue implementation of the MS and Parkinson’s Disease pilots programs.
- Over $550 million for the expansion of broadband service to provide economic development opportunities and improved education and healthcare services for rural communities. This funding is in addition to the $2 billion Congress provided for broadband in Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- $1 billion to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate the pace of scientific breakthroughs for chronic diseases.
- $6.5 billion to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), including a $100 million increase to the Mental Health Black Grant to make key investments along the behavioral health continuum to support prevention, screening, treatment, and other services.
- A 151-day blanket extension of pandemic telehealth waivers after the Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends so Medicare beneficiaries can still access telehealth visits with their providers.
Additionally, the bill contained language that encouraged the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase its investment to the Centers of Excellence within the Veterans Health Administration that are dedicated to Neurological Conditions and required the VA to issue a report to Congress on how those Centers of Excellence could collaborate to promote the health of veterans with neurologic conditions.
The bill did not include any additional funding for the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic related response or research needs. The Society urges Congress to pass additional legislation that provides substantial funding for COVID-19 programs and research. People with MS need continued access to COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and research and we ask Congress to make this funding a top priority in the weeks to come.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.