The AAMC joined the nearly 90 other members of the Friends of VA Medical Care and Health Research (FOVA) coalition in sending a letter on Nov. 8 to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders urging swift enactment of the House-passed funding level of $904 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical and Prosthetic Research program for fiscal year (FY) 2022.
The letter was delivered following the Nov. 2 meeting of the chairs and ranking members of the appropriations committees to negotiate top-line funding for the FY 2022 spending bills to facilitate completion of the appropriations process. The leaders did not reach a compromise and reported the expectation of an additional continuing resolution (CR), if not a full-year CR. The federal government is currently funded at FY 2021 levels under a CR through Dec. 3 [refer to Washington Highlights, Oct. 1].
“FOVA is appreciative of the bipartisan funding increases Congress has provided for the VA Medical and Prosthetic Research program in recent years, allowing VA to expand and excel in developing innovative treatments and diagnostics and to use cutting edge technology to care for veterans. To continue this momentum, we urge swift approval of the House-passed funding level of $904 million for the VA research program for FY 2022,” the coalition said in the letter.
“The current continuing resolution, which keeps funding at FY 2021 levels, fails to keep pace with biomedical inflation and impedes VA research in all priority areas. … The associated uncertainty and delay in enacting FY 2022 funding jeopardizes VA’s ability to enter into long-term research commitments and slows the translation of research findings into high-quality, timely health care services for veterans,” the letter added.
The House of Representatives passed its FY 2022 Military Construction, VA, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) spending bill on July 29, which would provide $904 million for VA research — a funding level similar to the request of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and colleagues [refer to Washington Highlights, July 30]. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the MilCon-VA bill on Aug. 4, including $882 million for the VA research program [refer to Washington Highlights, Aug. 6].