APHA applauds new congressional spending deal, investments in public health

Date: Mar 23 2018

CONTACT: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913

Washington, D.C., March 23, 2018 — The American Public Health Association applauds Congress for supporting prevention and public health in the bipartisan fiscal year 2018 spending bill. By increasing funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration and other health agencies, Congress has shown its commitment to improving the health of all communities and investing in activities that keep our country healthy and safe. APHA thanks Chairmen Roy Blunt and Tom Cole, Ranking Members Patty Murray and Rosa DeLauro and other leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for their leadership in securing funding for key health agencies and programs.

Importantly, the omnibus package would create new financial support to strengthen the public health workforce. After years of tightening budgets, raising spending levels to train and equip the public health workforce is a meaningful investment in the field’s future and will benefit millions of Americans. 

The omnibus bill increases the CDC’s overall budget by more than $800 million annually. This new funding will allow the agency to better fulfill its mission of protecting America from health, safety and security threats. CDC forms the backbone of public health in our country, and additional funding will strengthen its ability to tackle new and existing health challenges. The bill increases funding for important CDC programs including Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, the National Violent Death Reporting System and global health programs. The bill also includes nearly $500 million for opioid prescription drug overdose prevention activities and maintains critical funding to address the health impacts of climate change.

APHA is encouraged by language included in the bill that allows CDC to fund research on gun violence prevention. While this language is just a start, it opens the door for future research. APHA urges Congress to provide new resources for gun violence research in fiscal year 2019 appropriations.

HRSA’s budget would increase by more than $500 million annually, with significant new funding for programs including primary health care, health workforce, maternal and child health, health care systems, rural health and program management. APHA is encouraged by the additional funding provided for mental health and substance abuse disorders, community health centers and the National Health Service Corps.

After repeated calls for Congress to engage in bipartisan spending negotiations and to invest in public health, APHA is pleased to see spending levels for health agencies increased and cooperation restored. APHA is hopeful that negotiations for fiscal year 2019 spending will follow regular order and build upon these new investments in public health.

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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 influences federal policy, has a nearly 150-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit us at www.apha.org.