House Labor-HHS-Education FY 2020 funding bill invests in public health; shows promise for building healthier nation, says APHA

Date: Apr 30 2019

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

Funding proposal rejects president’s proposed cuts and would strengthen key public health agencies

Washington, D.C., April 30, 2019 – The American Public Health Association strongly supports funding increases for key public health agencies and programs outlined in the House Labor-HHS-Education fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill. APHA is grateful to Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and Chairwoman Nita Lowey of the House Appropriations Committee for their strong support of public health. 

“This funding bill outlines a true investment in public health from our leaders in the House,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “Increasing funds for federal health agencies, supporting key public health policies like the Affordable Care Act and Title X and rejecting broad cuts proposed in the White House budget all support our goal of creating the healthiest nation in one generation.”

The bill includes an $8.5 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $20.9 billion above the president’s budget request. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive a $921 million increase from FY 2019, and the Health Resources and Services Administration would receive a $475 million increase. By rejecting the massive cuts to these agencies included in the president’s budget proposal, this legislation would instead give vital health programs sorely needed funding increases.

Importantly, for the first time in more than two decades, the bill includes funding for CDC to conduct public health research into firearm safety and injury prevention. APHA applauds Congress for taking this important step to reduce the thousands of preventable deaths and injuries caused by gun violence every year. 

We are also pleased that the committee includes increased 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 critical increases, Congress must come together and forge a bipartisan deal to raise the current spending caps for nondefense discretionary programs. APHA looks forward to working with Congress to raise the spending caps and ensure we can maintain these important funding increases as this legislation moves forward.

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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 combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public's health. Visit us at www.apha.org.