On April 9, 2019, LE&RN Spokesperson Kathy Bates appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Her testimony had been requested by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT), House Committee on Appropriations, Chair, when the two met during LE&RN Lobby Days in March.
Key recommendations included:
- provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $41.6 billion for FY 2020 and advance lymphatic disease research by expanding resources and encouraging better coordination among relevant Institutes and Centers;
- establish a National Commission on Lymphatic Disease Research at the NIH to identify emerging opportunities, challenges, gaps, structural changes, and recommendations on lymphatic disease research;
- provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with $7.8 billion for FY 2020 and enable programmatic activity on lymphatic disease education and public awareness; and
- expand access to compression garments by requesting passage of the Lymphedema Treatment Act this year. Although this committee does not deal with insurance issues, we believe it was important to concurrently make the case for the passage of the LTA.
Ms. Bates was accompanied by LE activists Kelly Bell and Lindsay Bennett, and brought Youth Ambassador Emma Detlefsen's moving words to the floor of Congress. We thank Representatives DeLauro, Lee, and Cole for their attention and thoughtful remarks.
Social media, as well as LE&RN's email and phones, lit up during and after the testimony. Tiffany Detlefsen, Emma's mom, wrote on Facebook: "This disease is not going to win! Change is coming!"
We couldn't agree more. Join us as we celebrate this accomplishment, which would not be possible with the unwavering commitment of LE&RN Supporting Members.
If you missed the live testimony, or if you would like to see it again, you can watch it here.