Thank you for your very thoughtful and well-stated letter arguing for increased appropriations for the high blood pressure
program in the 1980 budget. As you certainly know by now, I have been and will continue to be outspoken on the need for increased
funding for our many important health programs, among which none deserve more emphasis than the high blood pressure initiative.
I am well aware of the dramatic advances taking place in death rates from heart disease and stroke, and I agree fully that
the National High Blood Pressure Education Program and related efforts to screen for and treat high blood pressure have been
critical to these major public health developments. The Administration's proposed increase of $2 million in the screening
and detection effort is, I agree, minimal. In fairness, it does represent one of the few increases which the President permitted
in his 1980 budget, and even that was achieved only because of the strong advocacy of Joe Califano and myself.
Nevertheless, I agree that we could do much better. Whether we will be able to achieve the full $24.5 million for the program
remains to be seen. However, you can be confident that you will have my support to further increase the levels available for
hypertension detection, screening and follow up programs.
Thank you again for your very helpful and informative letter.