A look ahead to Fiscal Year 18 for TS Funding

The United States federal government’s fiscal year ends on September 30. With less than 10 days in session until the end of the fiscal year 2017, Congress has accomplished many important things but a lot remains to be done. The President recently signed legislation that provides for a short-term debt ceiling increase, initial funding for Hurricane Harvey and to funds the government through the first couple months of Fiscal Year 18 (FY18) through early December. This allows Congress to focus on and debate key issues over the next few months including healthcare reform, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) re-authorization, passing a budget resolution, tax reform, and now also DACA.

What does this mean for funding of the program near and dear to our hearts… the CDC Tourette Syndrome (TS) Public Health, Education and Research Program funding? Good news is, the program will be funded at Fiscal Year 17 levels during the continuing resolution. But this is why it is so important to make our voice, in the Tourette community, heard.

As of last week, the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittees and the full Committees on Appropriations in the House and Senate have now both passed FY18 bills – both bills included $2 million in continued funding for the CDC Tourette Syndrome Program. The Tourette Association of America continues to engage in the appropriations process during this difficult budget time to continue to fight for full funding of the CDC, its National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the especially the TS Public Health, Education and Research Program. We also will continue to push for increased funding for NIH and the BRAIN Initiative which were also successfully included in both LHHS bills. This helps ensure continued research into Neuroscience and Tourette Syndrome and Chronic Tic Disoders.

A special thank you to our Public Policy Committee, State Chapter and Support Group leaders, TAA Members and their families for reaching out directly to their Congressman and Senators to outline the importance of the CDC TS Program to their constituents. We would also like to thank the Medical Advisory Board and Scientific Advisory Board for their letter of support for the CDC TS Program. We will continue to keep everyone informed and up to date as the appropriations process for FY18 continues.

For more information regarding the Tourette Association Public Policy program, or to get involved, contact Diana Felner.