ASTHO Executive Director Congratulates Marilyn Tavenner
On Wednesday, May 29th ASTHO Executive Director Paul Jarris sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner congratulating her on her confirmation to become Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Dr. Jarris noted that while we stand at the crossroads of health care insurance coverage and public health, we must not forget that these two play a vital role together – and the successful implementation of both efforts require their further integration and coordination.
ASTHO Executive Director Applauds Senator Harkin
On Monday, May 20th ASTHO Executive Director Paul Jarris sent a letter to Senator Harkin, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education, commending him on his tireless efforts to preserve and protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Fund). The Fund is intended to advance innovative approaches and to improve the health of our nation, which can only be accomplished by Public Health. With half of the Fund being allocated to new CMS activities, many critical ongoing public health efforts will be dramatically reduced and scaled back.
The letter points out that investing in public health and access to quality health care is essential to our ability to reduce disease, disability, and ultimately the health of millions of Americans. Dr. Jarris notes that Senator Harkin’s efforts in fighting against the elimination and relocation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund have not gone unnoticed
CDC Releases FY13 Operating Plan
Late last week, CDC released the agency's operating plan for the remainder of FY 2013, which also includes the impact of sequestration. Overall, the impact seems to include an across-the-board 5.2 percent reduction to public health programs and administrative costs; however, the overall reduction to grants for programs is not as clear. CDC has informed us that they are trying to hold cuts to grants to no more than 3 percent, but some may see larger reductions. To this end, we are looking at reductions to be no more than 5 percent to a majority of core public health programs, although some programs that also received funding through the Prevention and Public Health Fund saw even greater reductions.
Coupled with the reallocation of almost half of the Prevention and Public Health Fund for implementation of activities for the Affordable Care Act, CDC's overall budget for FY13 has been reduced by $575 million, or 8.4 percent as compared to FY12. Some notable FY13 totals and reductions to public health programs as compared to FY12 are:
• Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. FY13 total: $75.4 million; a reduction of $4.1 million, or 5.2 percent.
• Section 317 Immunization. FY13 total: $528.4 million; a reduction of $91.8 million, or 15 percent.
• CDC Food Safety Programs. FY13 total: $25.7 million; a reduction of $1.4 million, or 5.2 percent.
• Environmental Public Health Tracking. FY13 total: $23.9 million; a reduction of $11.1 million, or 32 percent.
• Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. FY13 total: $608.3 million; a reduction of $33.4 million, or 5.2 percent.
• National Public Health Improvement Initiative. FY13 total: $37.039 million; a reduction of $3.2 million, or 8 percent.
• National Healthcare Safety Network/Healthcare-Associated Infections. FY13 total: $25.85 million; a reduction of $773,000, or 1 percent.
• Community Transformation Grants. FY13 total: $146.3 million; a reduction of $79.7 million, or 35 percent.
• Racial and Ethnic Approach to Community Health. FY13 total: $13.2 million; a reduction of $40.7 million, or 76 percent.
We are still waiting to see the operating plans for the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (which contains the FY13 plan for the Hospital Preparedness Program). ASTHO Government Relations staff will continue to monitor agencies' operating plans as they are released and provide updates on impacts to grants as soon as information becomes available. See the full operating plan for impact on public health programs across CDC.
HHS Announces Major Changes to Allocation of Prevention and Public Health Fund
On April 15 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified Congress of the Secretary's allocation of the FY 2013 Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which totals $949 million after a 5.1% reduction due to sequestration. In a dramatic departure from prior allocations directed to public health prevention activities, $453.8 million--almost half of the total available-was allocated to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to support enrollment in the new Affordable Care Act health exchanges, which begin enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013. The Administration had requested direct appropriations to support the CMS enrollment activities in FY 2013, but the final, full-year continuing resolution did not include the additional funding. As a result, HHS redirected PPHF funding that previously had been allocated to CDC and other public health service agencies for prevention activities. The CDC had received $809 million in FY 2012 from the PPHF, but this was reduced to $463 million in FY 2013--a 43% reduction. In order to partially offset the impact of this reduction, the secretary has requested additional funding transfers, including an additional $83 million for CDC to backfill some of the PPHF reduction.
The net impact on ASTHO priorities include an $82 million reduction to the 317 immunization program, an $11.1 million reduction for Environmental Public Health Tracking, a $3.2 million reduction to the national Public Health Improvement Initiative, and a slight $15,000 reduction to Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity grants. Other large reductions affect the Community Transformation Grants program, reduced by $80 million, and the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, reduced by $40 million.
A chart outlining the PPH Fund allocations is available online. Please be aware that this represents only the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and does not reflect overall programmatic funding levels for FY 2013. Final FY 2013 program totals that include the net impact of sequestration are expected April 27 when HHS agency operating plans are due to Congress. We will provide an update to ASTHO members as soon as that information is available.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Gould.
ASTHO Releases Preliminary Analysis of President's FY 14 Budget Proposal
The president's budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2014, released on April 10, totals $3.8 trillion. Within this amount, the discretionary funding request totals $1.058 trillion, which further breaks down to $552 billion for defense agencies and $506 billion for non-defense agencies (all of public health is considered "non-defense"). In FY 2014 alone, using the administration's economic assumptions, the president's budget request reduces the annual deficit from $1.1 trillion (or 7% of gross domestic product [GDP]) in FY 2012 to $744 billion (or 4.4% of GDP). The president's budget would reduce the deficit to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2016, and 1.7 percent of GDP by 2023. To achieve this deficit reduction, the budget proposes 215 cuts, consolidations, or savings totaling $25 billion in FY 2014 and $539 billion through 2023. Included in the reductions are significant cuts to important public health programs, such as the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and the Hospital Preparedness Program. However, there are also increases to public health programs, including CDC's core infectious disease line, the National Healthcare Safety Network/healthcare-associated infections program, and food safety programs. ASTHO federal government relations staff will continue to review the president's budget materials and may need to refine and provide additional information to ASTHO members as more details and a fuller understanding of the administration's intent emerge. Read ASTHO's budget analysis online.
Full-Year Continuing Resolution Passes Congress
The U.S. Congress approved a full-year continuing resolution (CR) today, March 21, to keep the federal government operating through the remainder of fiscal year 2013. The resolution has been sent to the White House for the President's expected signature. Final passage in the U.S. House of Representatives was 318-109 and in the Senate the vote was 73-26. The CR includes five negotiated appropriations bills: Agriculture (which includes funding for the Food and Drug Administration and the Women, Infants, and Children supplemental nutrition program); Commerce-Justice-Science; Defense; Homeland Security; and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs. Funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is included as part of the continuing appropriations division of the resolution, which means programs administered by HHS (except FDA) will be funded at approximately last year's funding levels before sequestration. It is important to note that while this CR ensures that the federal government will not shutdown and will continue to operate through the fiscal year, this resolution does not turn off or change federal sequestration. Funding in the CR is subject to sequestration and will be reduced as such. Federal sequestration is still in effect. The full text of the resolution is available here, as well as summaries prepared by the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. If you have any questions about the CR or federal funding for public health programs, please contact ASTHO public policy staff Nicole Kunko or Chris Gould.
Paul Jarris Provides Testimony before U.S. House Appropriations Committee
Paul Jarris, Executive Director of ASTHO, testified on March 13 before the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee to discuss the value and role of public health and the impact federal funding and programs have on protecting the public’s health in the U.S., in our states and territories, and in our communities. In his testimony, Jarris used the story of the fungal meningitis outbreak to emphasize that the investments made by the subcommittee allow federal, state, and local public health agencies to protect and promote the health of everyone living in our communities, in our states, and across the U.S.
Federal Sequester Takes Effect
On Friday, as defined by law, President Obama signed the order that puts in place the across-the-board spending cuts more commonly known as sequestration. The $85 billion worth of immediate cuts to the federal government, initially delayed by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, will now proceed.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent the heads of federal departments and agencies a memorandum informing them that the president signed the order and that "agencies shall apply the same percentage reductions to all programs, projects, and activities within a budget account." The order is accompanied by a report from OMB to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) "that provides calculations of the amounts and percentages by which various budgetary resources are required to be reduced, and a listing of the reductions required for each non-exempt budget account."
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operating division figures are listed beginning on page 24 of the OMB report, but details on grant-by-grant reductions are not available. The percentage reduction applied to nondefense discretionary funding is 5 percent; however, OMB states that "because these cuts must be achieved over only seven months instead of 12, the effective percentage reductions will be approximately 13 percent for non-exempt defense programs and 9 percent for non-exempt nondefense programs."
Find ASTHO's full coverage of the sequester on the Sequestration Fact Page.
Mary Selecky Testifies Before House Committee on Effect of Federal Sequestration on Public Health
Mary Selecky, secretary of the Washington State Department of Health, spoke today in a U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing regarding the impact of sequestration on public health in Washington and in other states.
In her testimony, which was broadcast live on C-SPAN, Selecky discussed state public health agencies' important work, using the 2012 Washington state whooping cough outbreak as a central example. She then described the real-world health impacts of public health funding reductions and walked through specific examples of how federal sequestration would harm the health and well-being of Washington residents and reduce their access to needed health services.
"Public health has historically been asked to do more with less," Selecky said. "It is now at a breaking point. Unless we start supporting our public health system in a more sustained way, our capacity will continue to erode and our ability to respond quickly and competently will evaporate. Our ability to protect the public's health will be threatened."
2013 Legislative and Regulatory Prospectus
To provide an overview of the issues impacting state health agencies and public health, ASTHO has reviewed available pre-filed bills and surveyed the state health agency legislative liaisons regarding priorities and issues they expect their legislature to address in the coming year. The prospectus document summarizes our findings and outlines the top public health issues to watch in the states for 2013. You can read the Prospectus in its entirety here.
OMB Memo to Federal Agency Heads: Planning for Budgetary Uncertainty Due to Sequestration and FY 2013 Appropriations Delays
On Jan. 14, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies about planning for a number of FY 2013 budgetary uncertainties, including sequestration and delayed final FY 2013 appropriations. The memo states that, should Congress fail to amend current law, the president is required to issue a sequestration order on March 1, canceling roughly $85 billion in budgetary resources across the federal government, which will mean significant and harmful impacts on government services and operations. OMB includes a number of guiding principles for agencies to follow, including: identifying appropriate means to reduce civilian workforce where necessary through hiring freezes, not renewing term or contract hires, authorizing separation incentives and early retirements, or implementing administrative furloughs; reviewing grants and contracts to achieve cost savings; and taking advantage of funding flexibilities, such as reprogramming and transfer authorities. OMB may release additional guidance, as appropriate. As more information becomes available, ASTHO will keep members informed through the ASTHO website and the State Public Health Weekly newsletter.
ASTHO Signs National Violence Prevention Network Letter to Vice President Biden
As a member of the National Violence Prevention Network, ASTHO, along with 23 other organizations, signed on to a letter to Vice President Biden and the White House Gun Violence Commission. The letter urges a $10 million increase in FY 2014 to the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Overall, congressional funding for NVDRS falls well short of the estimated $25 million annual investment needed to implement and maintain NVDRS in all 50 states, plus DC and U.S. Territories. Operational in 18 states, the NVDRS is a state-based surveillance system that pools anonymous data from public health, law enforcement, medical examiners and social service agencies to track the modes and circumstances surrounding violent deaths. Two-thirds of the country continues to lack NVDRS funding, leaving many states without vital data to reinforce violence prevention policies. Lastly, the letter emphasizes attention to those who perpetrate violence as a result of mental illness, suggesting that NVDRS data may yield important information on how and when these individuals intersect with the health care system. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
Summary of Fiscal Cliff Deal and Impact on Public Health
In the wee hours of the morning on January 1, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that averts the "fiscal cliff" by a vote of 89-8. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an identical bill late that evening by a vote of 257-167. The bill, "The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012," has now been sent to the president's desk for his expected signature. You can read ASTHO’s summary, and find links to the voting records of the House and Senate, the text of the legislation, and summaries from the Congressional Budget Office and White House here.
Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act Passes the U.S House
On December 19, H.R. 6672, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 383-16 (click the link to see how your delegation voted). During debate on the bill, ASTHO was specifically mentioned on the House floor by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) as a supporter of the legislation and the letter sent to House leaders from ASTHO and other public health partners – the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) – was inserted into the Congressional Record. The letter states that “PAHPRA is vital to state and local health and other public health practitioners who are a critical part of any community’s first response to disease outbreaks, emergencies, and acts of terrorism.” Additionally, the letter urges the inclusion of certain provisions essential to keeping communities safe, such as the temporary redeployment of federally funded personnel during a public health emergency, reauthorization of the Public Health and Emergency Preparedness Grants and the Hospital Preparedness Program, and children’s preparedness initiatives.
ASTHO, APHA, NACCHO, and TFAH sent a letter to Senate leaders on December 19 urging swift passage of the House-passed PAHPRA bill before the end of this month. For further information about ASTHO’s work in support of PAHPRA, please contact ASTHO’s Director of Federal Government Relations, Chris Gould.
2012 State Legislative Summary
With most state legislatures having adjourned for 2012, ASTHO’s state health policy team has developed a report summarizing the activity on some of the key public health issues addressed this year. The issues of prescription drug abuse, food safety, immunizations, and newborn screening are among the topics highlighted in the report. Maps have been developed for some of the issues and are included to provide a snapshot of the activity across the states. ASTHO does not advocate on state level policy, rather we track and analyze state legislation and regulations to identify trends and emerging issues. If you would like additional information regarding these or other relevant state laws, please contact Andrea Garcia, director of state health policy at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2012 State Legislative Summary can be found here.
ASTHO and NACCHO Send Joint Letter to Hill Urging a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction
On Tuesday, November 27, ASTHO and NACCHO sent a joint letter to House and Senate leadership urging action against the devastating cuts set to go into effect on January 2, 2013 – more commonly known as sequestration. The letter outlines the impact such funding reductions will have on state and local public health departments, stating, “nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs have already contributed to deficit reduction through the bipartisan Budget Control Act and prior spending cuts. In the last two fiscal years (FY2010-FY2012), $2.5 billion, or 8%, has already been cut from federal public health spending. If Congress and the President do not avert the sequester, NDD programs will have been cut by 20% overall between 2010 and 2021. Public health programs cannot sustain additional cuts of $2.4 billion in FY2013 alone without putting the public’s health at risk.”
Additionally, the letter outlines the importance of the Prevention and Public Health Fund for public health programs, and summarizes how additional reductions to the Fund would further cripple state and local health departments. Further cuts to the Fund would also reverse gains already made on preventing chronic disease. The Fund has already been cut by $6.25 billion from its original funding level to offset the cost of freezing the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
Scheduled Funding Cuts Jeopardize Our Public Health
The upcoming sequester will affect such critical public health programs as childhood and adult vaccination, disaster preparedness and recovery, maternal and child health, and foodborne outbreak prevention and investigation. Get more information on the Sequestration Fact Page.
ASTHO Report on Sequestration: Potential Impacts on Public Health
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) estimates that at the top line public health agency level, sequestration would cut about $2.4 billion dollars from public health programs in FY 2013, with less than three-quarters of the fiscal year remaining. Sequestration is the process of automatic budget cuts to federal government programs, projects, and activities. The sequester was included as a budget reduction enforcement mechanism as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and is scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013 unless Congress reaches an agreement to pass legislation to postpone it or find other ways to reduce the federal deficit. In its report, “Potential Impact of Sequestration on Public Health”, details of the potential timing of when the cuts will be made to public health programs and the health impacts such large funding reductions will have on public health broadly and by state are examined. Federal public health spending already has been reduced by $2.5 billion, or 8 percent, from FY 2010 through FY 2012. Sequestration will reduce that level by an additional 8.4 percent in a single fiscal year for a total reduction since 2010 of $4.9 billion, or 16 percent. For additional questions about federal sequestration, please contact ASTHO’s Federal Government Relations staff (Nicole Kunko or Chris Gould).
ASTHO 2012 At-Home Hill Day Toolkit
Developing a strong working relationship or strengthening well-established connections with members of Congress is an important way to ensure public health continues to have a strong voice on Capitol Hill. Members of your congressional delegation want to hear from you, and there is no better way to show them the importance of public health to their constitutents than to invite them to see public health "in action." ASTHO's 2012 At-Home Hill Day Toolkit shows how to engage with lawmakers, from phone calls to congressional visits to your state's health department. Inform your congressional leaders about vital public health priorities while they are back home on recess! Download the toolkit to get started.
Legislative Update: FY13 Public Health Funding Bills Marked Up
Two of the federal fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills that provide funding for public health programs have been marked up in the U.S. Congress: the Labor-HHS-Education and Agriculture-FDA Appropriations bills have been marked up by the full Senate Appropriations Committee and the Agriculture-FDA Appropriations bill has been marked up by the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction. While these measures do not represent the final FY 2013 appropriations levels for public health, these mark-ups are an important step in the congressional appropriations process. These measures provide us insight into how federal policymakers may be prioritizing public health funding for the fiscal year and the opportunities we may have to further educate them on the value of public health.
For a full summary of these FY 2013 appropriations bills and how funding compares to the prior year and to ASTHO’s federal funding recommendations, please click here.
Legislative Update – April 26, 2012: Prevention Fund Under Attack and Appropriations Action Underway
The last 24 hours in Washington, DC, have been astoundingly busy and full of both good and bad news about federal programs that benefit state public health. In short: The Prevention and Public Health (PPH) Fund is proposed for elimination to offset costs for student loan interest rate reductions and to cut the deficit (these are two separate House bills); the House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed spending allocations for FY 2013; and the Senate FY 2012 Agriculture bill (which includes funding for FDA, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and WIC) was marked up. For background information on all of these legislative actions, ASTHO staff have prepared the following legislative update.
ASTHO and NACCHO Send Joint Letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee, Full House of Representatives, and Senate Leadership Opposing Attack on the Prevention and Public Health Fund
In response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s proposal to rescind the Prevention and Public Health Fund and rescind all unobligated balances in order to find the $98.6 billion in reconciliation savings instructed through the House budget, ASTHO and NACCHO sent a joint letter to Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman expressing opposition to eliminating the Fund, and support of continuing this important investment. Read the entire letter here. ASTHO and NACCHO also sent a letter to the full House of Representatives opposing eliminating the Fund, and using partial funds to offset holding the current federal student loan rate. That letter can be found here. Additionally a letter was also sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. That letter can be read here.
Analysis of the President's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Proposal
The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request was released on February 13, 2012. Overall the President’s budget request totals $3.8 trillion. Within this overall amount, the discretionary funding request totals $1.043 trillion. In FY 2013 alone, using the Administration’s economic assumptions, the President’s budget request reduces the annual deficit from $1.3 trillion (or 8.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product [GDP]) in FY 2012 to $901 billion (or 5.5 percent of GDP). The President’s budget would stabilize the deficit to 2.8 percent of GDP from FY 2019 through FY 2022. To achieve this deficit reduction, the President’s budget proposes 210 cuts, consolidations, or savings totaling $24 billion in FY 2013, including significant cuts to important public health programs, such as to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, and the Hospital Preparedness Program. There are increases to public health program as well, including for domestic HIV/AIDS prevention and AIDS drug assistance programs, food safety, and for a new coordinated chronic disease prevention and health promotion program. See the full summary here.
ASTHO Urges Members Not to Cut the Prevention and Public Health Fund
On January 31, ASTHO sent a letter to the members of the U.S. Congress serving on the conference committee currently negotiating strategies to extend the provisions of the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (H.R. 3630) urging them to support the nation’s public health system and reduce rising health care treatment costs by opposing any and all efforts to eliminate, reduce, or reclassify the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Early in negotiations on the temporary bill that goes through February 29, 2012, Congress had proposed the Fund as an offset to the costs associated with the payroll tax cut, the SGR “doc fix”, and unemployment insurance extension. Read the entire letter here.
Final Fiscal Year 2012 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Summary
On Saturday, December 17, the Congress approved the final fiscal year (FY) 2012 omnibus appropriations bill funding the bulk of the federal government through September 30, 2012. The bill includes funding for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), among others. The bill also includes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. On Friday, December 23, the President signed the bill into law; the bill is now Public Law 112-74.
Two major victories for state public health include the restoration of approximately $80 million for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and no reductions or rescissions to the $1 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund. To see how all of ASTHO’s federal advocacy priorities and other public health programs fared, please see the detailed summary here.
Prevention and Public Health Fund Lobby Day: December 15, 2011
ASTHO has joined forces with other public health partners to fight to protect the the Prevention and Public Health Fund. On December 15, public health groups will converge on Capitol Hill to let lawmakers know about the importance of the Fund for the health of all Americans. Please click here to see the invitation to participate. If you want to participate, but can't make the trip to DC, please see additional infomation here.
Fiscal Year 2012 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Update: House Bill Publicly Released
On Sept. 29, the House Appropriations Committee publicly released their version of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies spending bill. There has not been a mark-up of this bill in Subcommittee or Full Committee and the bill has not gone to the full House floor for a vote. This annual appropriations bill provides the federal funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), among others, which in turns issues grants and other awards that benefit state and local public health agencies.
Overall, the House FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill totals $153 billion, which is $4 billion BELOW the FY 2011 comparable funding level. This compares to the Senate FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill total of $158 billion, which is $308 million below the FY 2011 comparable funding level. To read the summary, please click here.
Fiscal Year 2012 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Update
On September 20 and 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up their version of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies spending bill in subcommittee and full committee respectively. This annual appropriations bill provides the federal funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adminstration (SAMHSA), among others.
Overall, the FY 2012 Labor-HHS-Education bill totals $158 billion and is $308 million below the FY 2011 comparable funding level. To read the summary, please click here.
To read the full Senate FY 12 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations report, click here.
Federal Legislative Update: Deficit Reduction and the Prevention and Public Health Fund
On September 19, the President publically issued his budget deficit and economic growth document, "Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future: The President's Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction." Read more here.
Federal Legislative Update: September 8, 2011
The federal spending debate is back in full swing. On Sept. 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted their fiscal year 2012 allocations for all appropriations bills, passed their version of the fiscal year 2012 Agriculture funding bill, which provides resources for FDA and WIC, and the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA), said that he expects a stopgap spending measure, called a continuing resolution, to fund federal agencies “through late fall” will be taken up for a vote on the House floor the week of Sept. 19. To learn more, please click here.
ASTHO, Affiliates, NACCHO, and APHA Join Together to Advocate for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant
On Sept. 8, ASTHO, Affiliates, NACCHO and APHA sent a letter to the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee urging them to support the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant in the fiscal year 2012 funding bill. The subcommittee mark-up of the bill that was scheduled for Sept. 9 has been postponed. To read the full letter, please click here.
Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction Members Selected
Read about House and Senate Leadership's choices for the debt limit Supercommittee here.
New! At-Home Hill Day Toolkit
Inform your congressional leaders about vital public health priorities while they're back home on recess! ASTHO's new toolkit shows how to engage with lawmakers, from phone calls to Congressional visits to your state's health department. Download the toolkit
Legislative Alert: Debt Limit Compromise
ASTHO's analysis of the Budget Contol Act and potential effects on public health funding. Read the summary
Public Health in the States
U.S. Public Health is a system of local, state, and federal health agencies working together to prevent disease, prolong life, and promote health. In all states, the state health agency is the sole entity that ensures all people receive essential public health prevention, protection, and wellness services. State health agencies:
- Strategically look across all communities to identify areas of greatest need and to position programs, personnel, and dollars to best meet the health needs of all people in the state.
- Ensure that evidence-based and innovative solutions to health challenges are implemented in all of the communities that need them.
- Provide critical expertise and support to independent local public health departments. In 27 states, the state health agency directly acts as the local public health agency for some or all communities.
ASTHO, NACCHO Oppose Deep Cuts to Public Health
ASTHO and NACCHO recently sent three letters to Congress urging them to reject deep and harmful cuts in public health funding:
- May 27, 2011: ASTHO, NACCHO and affiliates urge the House Appropriations Committee to restore funding to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Read the letter.
- April 12, 2011: Expressing deep concern with H.R. 1217, a bill to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and urging members of Congress to oppose any efforts to eliminate it. Read the letter.
- April 7, 2011: Opposing widespread public health cuts in H.R. 1363, a Continuing Resolution that would forestall a projected government shutdown by one week. Read the article and letter
- March 30, 2011: Urging the retention of the Prevention and Public Health Fund in H.R. 1217. Read the article and letter
ASTHO and NACCHO Caution House About Proposed Cuts
(2-15-11) Today, ASTHO and NACCHO sent a joint letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
The nation’s state and local public health officials join in urging you to reconsider and reject the deep cuts in a host of federal public health programs proposed in H.R.1 that are essential to protecting the country. We are deeply concerned that imposing such abrupt funding reductions will shred the protections that all Americans take for granted and will have unintended consequences that will be acceptable to no one. Read full letter.
FY11 Funds Allocated but in Danger of Cuts
(2-10-11) Yesterday, the Administration announced the allocation of $750 million in FY11 funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund that was created in the Affordable Care Act. This allocation closely follows the one in the bicameral omnibus appropriations bill that was agreed to in the 2010 lame duck session of Congress, but was never brought to the House or Senate floor for a vote.
While the funds are available immediately under current law and will need to go through the normal grant making process before they are awarded, it is highly possible that the House may attempt to eliminate this funding during the ongoing debate to complete the FY11 appropriations bills. Currently, the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution that expires on March 4, 2011.
The House is expected to bring legislation to the Floor next week that would cut spending levels for the current year to the overall level enacted in FY08. This level is approximately $100 billion below the budget request, and would largely be made against the portion of the budget considered as non-security (defense) discretionary spending, which translates into a net 9% cut. We don't expect this to go anywhere in the Senate.
Once the House 2011 appropriations legislation is introduced, ASTHO will issue an action alert asking our members to contact Congress regarding any potential budget cuts to ASTHO priorities. More in ASTHO Public Health Advocacy