Press Room

ASTHO Applauds Bipartisan Budget Deal

ARLINGTON, VA (Feb. 9, 2018)Today, President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 into law ending the very brief government shutdown. John Wiesman, ASTHO’s president and secretary of health at the Washington State Department of Health, issued the following statement in response:

“We applaud Congress and the Administration for their approval of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This bi-partisan law will greatly assist state and territorial public health in promoting and protecting the health of all Americans. Specifically, this law provides the necessary resources for states and territories recovering from the recent natural disasters, and ensures stable funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

During negotiations of the bill, Congress also promised to provide $6 billion to help address the ongoing opioid crisis. Given the current public health emergency declaration, ASTHO strongly urges Congress to allocate a portion of this funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and states and territories so they can scale up evidence-based public health prevention programs.

The deal does restore funding to the prevention and public health fund for FY19-FY21, which we greatly appreciate. These funds support core work detecting and responding to outbreaks, preventing tobacco use, and immunizing our children. However, ASTHO remains very concerned about cuts to the fund after 2022 and the core public health programs that these funds support. It urges Congress and the Administration to reconsider that decision in the out years.

Health promotion and disease prevention activities require robust and sustained federal funding. The Bipartisan Budget Act is an important step in the right direction and we look forward to working with Congress to develop the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill to ensure additional resources are allocated to public health so we can continue our mission to improve the health and wellbeing for all.”

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ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.

Call ASTHO's main phone line at (202) 371-9090 or contact Jane Esworthy, (571) 318-5431. Follow us on Twitter.