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Congress determines the funding level for specific federal agencies, departments, and programs through the appropriations process. The process occurs annually and covers a period known as the fiscal year, which lasts from October 1 to September 30. This process does not include spending for Medicare and Social Security, for which funding is automatically calculated by formula each year. The Alliance for Aging Research advocates for the United States to invest yearly in biomedical and health research to support medical discoveries.

Specifically, the Alliance for Aging regularly advocates that Congress should continue to invest in:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency responsible for biomedical and public research in the United States. The NIH comprises 27 different institutes and centers that focus on a unique biomedical discipline. Much of the Alliance’s appropriations advocacy is focused on the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which funds research on helping us better understand the aging process. The NIA is the institute primarily responsible for researching Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for reviewing the safety and effectiveness of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices, as well as ensuring that the nation’s food supply is safe. A well-funded FDA means new medical products will be reviewed in a comprehensive and timely manner and ensures that the needs and perspectives of patients are taken into consideration in reviews.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is charged with protecting the health security of the United States. The agency conducts research and disseminates health information to protect Americans from dangerous health threats. The CDC funds programs to prevent falls in older adults, provide preventative services for chronic conditions, develop caregiver resources, and collect information on people living with dementia.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) researches ways for healthcare delivery to be safer, higher quality, more equitable, and affordable. The organization helps determine healthcare quality standards, publishes evidence-based reports on high-quality healthcare delivery, and provides data and analytics on how the healthcare system can improve.