FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913
Washington, D.C., September 19, 2018 – APHA applauds the Senate’s strongly bipartisan vote to pass the fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill funding the departments of Defense, Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. Not only was this the first time in 22 years that Labor-HHS funding was approved before October 1, the bill also provides important increases to public health funding that are desperately needed for prevention programs.
The spending package increases funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by $126.6 million and increases funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration by $106.75 million. The spending package also avoided the inclusion of controversial policy riders included in previous versions that would have eliminated funding for critical reproductive health services and negatively impacted women’s health. The final bill also funds the CDC’s Climate and Health program, which had been proposed for elimination in the House version of the bill.
"Increased funding for public health is sorely needed," said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. "We’re pleased that the CDC and HRSA received additional funds, and that the Senate was able to pass this funding before the end of the fiscal year. This is the kind of leadership we need to keep our public health system strong."
APHA urges members of the House of Representatives to quickly pass this funding bill when they return to Washington next week. If passed by the House, APHA urges the president will sign this bill as soon as possible to avoid a government shutdown and provide important funding to public health programs and agencies.
APHA continues to call on Congress to approve new funding for the CDC to research firearm violence, injury and mortality. Firearm violence is a threat to public health, and investing in research to find effective policy solutions will be a key step in curbing thousands of annual preventable injuries and deaths.
"While the increased funding is helpful, there’s a lot more we can do to make sure the public health system is fully financed," added Benjamin. "As a nation we are still spending less on prevention than we need to be, and we’re leaving money on the table by pushing the cost of preventable health problems down the road. I’m hopeful that this trend of funding public health on time, with increases, will continue in years to come."
APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a nearly 150-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Learn more at www.apha.org.