APHA welcomes passage of bill boosting public health agency funding

Date: Mar 10 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations, 202-777-3913  

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

The American Public Health Association welcomes today’s House passage of funding increases for key public health agencies and programs and urges the Senate follow suit.

The funding increases are part of the fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which was included in the broader FY 2022 omnibus spending bill passed by the House earlier today. We urge the Senate to quickly pass the bill and send it to the president for his signature.

Importantly, the legislation would increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by $582 million in fiscal year 2022, for a total of more than $8.4 billion. This funding would help strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure and workforce as we continue to combat COVID-19.  The increase would also support other critical programs to address many of our most pressing public health challenges, including opioid abuse and overdose, health disparities and inequities and global health protection.

APHA welcomes the important investments made in this bill, including:

  • $200 million in new flexible funding for state and local public health infrastructure needs and $61 million — a $5 million increase over FY 2021 — for strengthening the public health workforce;
  • $8 million to address social determinants of health, an increase of $5 million over FY 2021;
  • $491 million for opioid overdose prevention and surveillance, an increase of $15 million over FY 2021; 
  • $100 million for the ongoing effort to modernize data systems at CDC and state and local health departments, an increase of $50 million over FY 2021; and
  • $647 million for global health, an increase of $54 million over FY 2021.

The bill would also provide an increase of $1.3 billion for the Health Resources and Services Administration for a total of more than $8.5 billion in FY 2022. Key increases for HRSA include:

  • $1.7 billion for the Health Centers program — an increase of $65 million over FY 2021 — including an increase of $25 million to support school-based health centers; $2.5 billion for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, an increase of $71 million over FY 2021;
  • $122 million for the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative, an increase of $20 million over FY 2021;
  • $1 billion for programs to improve maternal and child health, an increase of $43 million over FY 2021, including an increase of $35 million for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant; and
  • $1.3 billion for HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions programs to support health workforce development — an increase of $72 million over FY 2021 — including an increase of $24 million for the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program.

We also welcome the inclusion of funding to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. This new agency will help bolster our public health efforts to combat chronic and infectious diseases by helping to accelerate new scientific breakthroughs.

APHA also applauds the inclusion of language that would clarify the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority over tobacco products containing nicotine from any source, including synthetic nicotine products. APHA has previously urged Congress and the agency to clarify that FDA has authority over synthetic nicotine as e-cigarette companies were evading regulation on their products

We are, of course, disappointed that not all the deserving public health programs received funding increases under this bill. APHA will continue to work with members of Congress and the administration to highlight the important impact increased funding for public health programs can have on improving the health of our communities, especially the most vulnerable among us.

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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 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.