In a press release issued by the National Association of County Health Officers, the organization praised many aspects of President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal released today, but also raised some concerns. From the press release:
The President’s FY2013 budget proposal, released today, allocates $1.25 billion for the Prevention and Public Health Fund—including investments to improve public health infrastructure and technology through the National Public Health Improvement Initiative, expand and train the public health workforce, increase state and local epidemiology and laboratory capacity, and support community efforts to combat chronic disease through Community Transformation Grants.
However, the budget proposal does contain some troubling reductions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provides funds to state and local health departments to carry out a wide array of programs across the country, had its base funding cut by $664 million or 11 percent from the previous year.
The most troubling of these budget reductions will further reduce community resilience:
- An $80 million cut to Community Transformation Grants that provide resources to reduce the impact of chronic disease.
- A $59 million cut to the Section 317 Immunization Program that provides vaccine services to low-income and uninsured children, adolescents and adults.
- A $14 million cut to public health workforce development program at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which includes public health training centers and preventive medicine residency training.
- Eliminating the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, a cut of $80 million to a fundamental and flexible source of funding for state and local public health departments to address local health concerns.
- Scaling back the Prevention and Public Health Fund (cut of $4 billion) over ten years, starting in FY2014.