How Public Health Fared in the 2016 Federal Budget

December 18, 2015|3:25 p.m.| Chris Gould

On Dec. 16, the text of the FY16 omnibus appropriations package was released. The $1.1 trillion package reflects the revised budget caps from the late-October budget deal, with $518.5 billion for non-defense discretionary and $548.1 billion for defense discretionary spending. The bill was subsequently passed by the House and the Senate today, and has been sent to the president for signature before the midnight deadline. While it took much negotiating to complete the Labor-HHS bill, under the leadership of the two new subcommittee chairs, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved their respective Labor-HHS-ED bills this summer, something that had not happened in six years. 

In the bill the CDC sees an increase of $300 million above the FY15 program level and $892.3 million was allocated for the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

In other CDC programs, the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant was restored from proposed elimination to the FY15 level of $160 million, and the 317 immunization program was also restored from a proposed $50 million cut in the president’s request to the FY15 level of $611 million.  Programs receiving notable increases include the PHEP program, with a $14 million increase above FY15 to $660 million, and Food Safety programming, which increased $4 million to $52 million.  The National Environmental Public Health Tracking program was level funded at $34 million, the HPP program was level funded at $255 million, and Advanced Molecular Detection was level funded at $30 million.  Healthcare Associated Infections/National Healthcare Safety programming was increased to a combined $33 million above the combined $30 million level.  All-in-all, ASTHO was pleased with the funding levels, and commends and thanks the Appropriations Committees for their work on important public health issues.

Program

FY 2015

FY 2016 President

FY 2016 House

FY 2016 Senate

FY 2016 Final Omnibus

Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant

$160,000

$0

$170,000

$160,000

$160,000

National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

$34,904

$24,000

$24,000

$17,000

$34,000

Section 317 Immunization Program and Program Operations

$610,847

$560,508

$585,508

$610,847

$610,847

Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreements

$643,609

$643,609

$675,000

$643,609

$660,000

Hospital Preparedness Program

$255,000

$255,000

$255,000

$255,000

$255,000

Food Safety

$47,993

$50,089

$48,000

$48,993

$52,000

Healthcare-Associated Infections/ National Healthcare Safety Network

$30,032

$46,651

$30,000

$35,032

$33,000

Advanced Molecular Detection Initiative

$30,000

$30,000

$30,000

$30,000

$30,000

(dollars in thousands)

Chris Gould is the senior director of government relations at ASTHO and can be reached at cgould@astho.org.