In its “News from Washington” weekly update, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) provides an update on the “fiscal cliff” negotiations and their potential effects on public health spending.
The President put an offer on the table and the House leadership issued a counteroffer. The House plan includes $600 billion in health savings and $300 billion in cuts to agency budgets on top of the $1 trillion in cuts already enacted. In recent days there have been indications that Republican leadership realizes they will need to let go of their refusal to raise top tax rates in order to come to agreement with the President.While there are not specifics for either package, NACCHO remains concerned that the replacement for the fiscal cliff could be worse for public health funding than the 8% cuts in the sequester. It is highly likely that the Prevention and Public Health Fund is eliminated in the House package and it is unclear if it is included in the President’s proposal. NACCHO remains concerned given the President’s FY2013 budget proposal included cuts to the Fund.
There are also concerns that reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may be included in a fiscal cliff deal as part of Farm Bill reauthorization.