APHA welcomes key health funding provisions in final FY 2021 spending and COVID relief bill

Date: Dec 22 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations 

Funding bill will strengthen key public health agencies and coronavirus vaccination and prevention activities

The American Public Health Association applauds the inclusion of funding for key public health agencies and programs in the final FY 2021 omnibus spending bill, a package of fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills and coronavirus relief provisions.

The funding package includes a $125 million increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a $151 million increase for the Health Resources and Services Administration.

"We're pleased with the bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate that led to these increases in key public health agencies and programs," said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. "While these agencies remain woefully underfunded, this funding is a step in the right direction. We are pleased that the bill would increase funding for influenza prevention activities, public health emergency preparedness and response grants, public health workforce development and HIV prevention activities, among others. The bill would also maintain critical funding for both CDC and the National Institutes of Health to study gun violence prevention as well as CDC's Climate and Health program."

Additionally, the bill includes important and much-needed COVID-19 relief provisions, including $8.75 billion to CDC for vaccine distribution, administration and monitoring, $4.5 billion of which is directed for assistance for state, local, territorial and tribal health departments and $300 million targeted to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine among racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities. The bill also provides $22.4 billion to support activities related to testing and contact tracing.

The bill also contains important provisions in the effort to combat climate change by significantly phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases, over the next 15 years.

"While this bill is far from perfect and long overdue, these provisions are a step forward," Benjamin said. "We also know that much more will need to be done to ensure our nation can fully combat this deadly virus and support the millions of people who have been impacted throughout the pandemic. We look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration and Congress next year to support any additional needed funding and other measures to strengthen our public health system and workforce, protect worker safety and to ensure the health and well-being of all Americans during the pandemic."

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.