House minibus appropriations bill supports public health with important funding increases

Date: Jun 19 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913

Funding proposal would strengthen key public health agencies with increases to HHS, CDC, HRSA and other programs

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2019 – The American Public Health Association strongly supports funding increases for key public health agencies and programs outlined in the House’s minibus appropriations package, which includes the Labor-HHS-Education fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill. 

The funding package includes an $8.9 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive a more than $937 million increase from FY 2019, and the Health Resources and Services Administration would receive a $485 million increase.
“We’re extremely pleased to see that public health agencies and programs are provided with sorely-needed funding increases in this package,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “APHA is also thrilled that our calls for funding to study gun violence prevention, restored support for the ACA navigator program and increased funding for CDC’s Climate and Health Program have been addressed by this legislation. We strongly urge the Senate to join the House by also supporting these vital increases for CDC, HRSA and other key public health agencies and programs.”

The bill would provide a number of increases for critical CDC programs including programs to address chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and others. The legislation would boost funding for tobacco control efforts, efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity, programs to reduce and prevent injury, violence and suicide, programs to protect the public from environmental health hazards and many other important public health and prevention programs.

APHA applauds the House for taking the important step of including funding for CDC and the National Institutes of Health to conduct public health research into gun violence and injury prevention to reduce the thousands of preventable deaths and injuries caused by gun violence every year. 

APHA also strongly welcomes the House’s decision to increase funding for CDC’s Climate and Health Program. This additional funding will help ensure more of our state and local health departments have access to the resources and tools they need to develop plans to better protect their communities from the various health threats they face due to climate change.

The bill also restores critical funding for the ACA navigator program, a key component in driving down the number of people without health insurance. It also includes protective language to ensure no Title X funds can be used to enforce the Trump administration’s recently finalized gag rule. 

In order to maintain these steps forward in supporting public health, Congress and the administration must come together and forge a bipartisan deal to raise the current spending cap for nondefense discretionary programs. APHA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the administration to ensure spending caps are raised and support for public health funding is maintained.

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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.