Legislative Alerts


ASTHO Report on Sequestration:  Potential Impacts on Public Health

Sept. 19, 2012

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.