APHA welcomes key health funding increases in final FY 2020 spending bill

Date: Dec 17 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Arnice Cottom, 202-777-3913

Funding proposal would strengthen key public health agencies with increases to HHS, CDC, HRSA and other programs

Washington, D.C., December 17, 2019 – The American Public Health Association applauds today’s House passage of funding increases for key public health agencies and programs included in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, a package of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills which includes the Labor-HHS-Education FY 2020 appropriations bill. 

The funding package includes a $4.4 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive a nearly $637 million increase over FY 2019, and the Health Resources and Services Administration would receive a $193 million increase.

“We’re pleased with the bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate that led to these critical increases in key public health agencies and programs,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “In particular, we are extremely grateful that the bill would provide both CDC and the National Institutes of Health each with $12.5 million to study gun violence prevention, a top priority for APHA. This funding is a central piece in a much needed public health approach to reduce gun violence in the United States. We strongly urge the Senate to quickly pass the bill and send it to the president for his immediate signature.”

The bill would provide important new and increased funding for a number of critical CDC programs including $50 million in new funding to improve public health data systems at CDC and state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments and an increase of $75 million for CDC’s global disease detection programs. The legislation would also boost funding for tobacco control efforts and also provide $10 million for the creation of a suicide prevention program at the agency. HRSA would receive increased funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, health workforce programs and maternal and child health programs among others.

Additionally, the bill includes a provision to raise the legal purchasing age for tobacco from 18 to 21, an important step in reducing youth smoking. While we strongly welcome this provision we also continue to urge Congress and the administration to move forward with removing all flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, from retail and online markets. These products are directly linked to the alarming rise in youth tobacco use, culminating in more than 5 million U.S children who now use e-cigarettes. This is a public health crisis, and one that we urge Congress and the administration to address swiftly.

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.