On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee unveiled the text of two FY 2020 spending packages, the second of which contains the Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS) measure. The House passed the bill yesterday, and a Senate vote is expected Thursday. The current continuing resolution keeping government programs running expires on Friday.
Thank you to all NACCHO members who helped with advocacy for public health programs this year. Your efforts were essential to our success. NACCHO will continue to advocate for strong funding levels for public health programs next year.
NACCHO has released the following press statement. Please contact Eli Briggs, Senior Government Affairs Director, with any questions.
NACCHO Statement on the Bipartisan, Bicameral FY2020 Appropriations Agreement
The National Association of County and City Health Officials, representing the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments, released the following statement by Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, in support of the bipartisan, bicameral FY2020 appropriations agreement unveiled yesterday.
“NACCHO applauds congressional leaders for putting forward a funding package that supports public health priorities and the important work that local health departments do every day to keep people in communities across the country healthy and safe. We are particularly pleased to see a strong increase in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is critical to support efforts across the local-state-federal public health spectrum.”
“Local health departments rely on federal funding to do their important work, and we have real challenges ahead. Life expectancy is going down, and over the last year we have seen a wide range of public health challenges—from measles outbreaks to skyrocketing youth vaping rates—that highlight the need for more resources and attention to public health and prevention. Local public health departments are up to the challenge, but they need more support to build the infrastructure and workforce necessary for the public health needs of tomorrow. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to make sure these investments in public health reach local communities across the country.”
The bill includes a total of $8 billion for the CDC, $636 million above the FY2019 level. This amount is above the $7.8 billion FY2020 request by NACCHO and coalition partners and puts CDC on track to reach a 22% increase in CDC funding by 2022. The bill includes significant investments in our nation’s public health infrastructure including:
- $50 million for the first year of a multi-year effort to support modernization of public health data surveillance and analytics at CDC, State and local health departments. NACCHO advocated with coalition partners for $1 billion for data modernization over 10 years. This is an initial investment toward that target.
- $140 million to support CDC’s efforts to reduce new HIV infections by 90% in 10 years.
- $476 million for opioid abuse and overdose prevention, same as FY2019, with an instruction that funding should continue to flow partly to local communities, as advocated by NACCHO.
- $616 million for the 317 Immunization program, a $5 million increase, recognizing the threats posed by vaccine-preventable diseases including measles. In 2019 nearly 1,300 highly infectious measles cases were identified in 31 states.
- $60 million, an increase of $4 million for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program, rejecting the proposed elimination of the program requested in the President’s budget.
- $230 million, an increase of $20 million, to address tobacco and e-cigarettes. The increase is targeted partly at state and local health departments to help stem the tide of e-cigarettes.
- $51 million for public health workforce programs at CDC, rejecting the $6 million cut in the President’s budget request.
- For the first time in more than 20 years, the bill includes funding – $12.5 million – to specifically support firearm injury and mortality prevention research at CDC.
- $276 million, an increase of $11 million for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), a longstanding NACCHO priority. Local health departments work closely with hospitals in the HPP program to prepare communities to respond to health-related disasters.
- $6 million, rejecting the $2 million cut proposed by the President’s budget request for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). More than two-thirds of MRC units are operated by local health departments.
Included in the funding bill are also a few key policy changes, including:
- A provision to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21, which NACCHO supports. However, a full ban on flavored tobacco products is still needed to move the needle on youth vaping rates.
- Authorization of the Kay Hagan Tick Act, endorsed by NACCHO, which calls for a national strategy on addressing vector-borne diseases, reauthorization for Regional Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Disease, and new grants to states and localities to improve data collection and analysis, support early detection and diagnosis, improve treatment, and raise awareness.
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