Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD
The American Public Health Association strongly applauds today’s House Appropriations Committee passage of major funding increases for key public health agencies and programs included in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Importantly, the legislation would boost funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by nearly $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2022, for a total of more than $10.5 billion. This funding will help strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure and workforce as we continue to combat COVID-19 and also support other critical programs to address many of our most pressing public health challenges including environmental health threats, violence prevention, opioid abuse and overdose and health disparities and inequities. APHA welcomes all of the important investments made in this bill including:
- $1 billion in new flexible funding for state and local public health infrastructure needs and $106 million, a $50 million increase over FY 2021, for strengthening the public health workforce;
- $110 million for CDC’s Climate and Health Program, an increase of $100 million over FY 2021;
- $25 million to conduct gun violence prevention research. The National Institutes of Health would also receive $25 million for gun violence prevention research for a total of $50 million, double the FY 2021 level;
- $153 million to address the social determinants of health, an increase of $150 million over FY 2021;
- $664 million for opioid overdose prevention and surveillance, an increase of $188 million over FY 2021; and
- $150 million for the ongoing effort to modernize data systems at CDC and state and local health departments, an increase of $100 million over FY 2021.
The bill would also provide an increase of $1.6 billion for the Health Resources and Services Administration for a total of more than $8.7 billion in FY 2022. Key increases for HRSA include:
- $1.8 billion for the Health Centers program, an increase of $148 million over FY 2021, including an increase of $45 million to support school-based health centers;
- $2.7 billion for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, an increase of $231 million over FY 2021;
- $1.2 billion for programs to improve maternal and child health, an increase of $214 million over FY 2021;
- $400 million for the Title X Family Planning program, an increase of $113.5 million over FY 2021;
- $1.6 billion for HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions programs to support health workforce development, an increase of $341 million over FY 2021.
Adequate funding for these programs will help ensure a robust, well-trained workforce, a critical component of responding to public health emergencies like COVID-19 and ensure we are better prepared for the next pandemic.
We are also pleased that the bill does not include the so-called Hyde amendment language that has prohibited women who rely on federal Medicaid coverage from accessing abortion services in most cases, a policy that disproportionately impacts low-income women and women of color.
We thank Chair Rosa DeLauro for leading the effort to provide these important increases and we thank all of the members of the committee who supported the bill. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to ensure the highest possible funding levels for CDC, HRSA and other important public health programs as Congress continues its work on the FY 2022 appropriations process.