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 View from Washington

MCH Leadership – 10 Numbers that Will Shape the Future

By Brent Ewig, MHS
Director of Policy, AMCHP

Greetings from Washington where it’s hot, sticky, and Congress is on their traditional August recess. This means two main things: 1) most Washingtonians have evacuated our nation’s capital to seek solace in the mountains and beaches of this great land and, 2) we once again are facing a completely uncertain budget situation, with no prospect that the appropriations bill funding Title V and most other MCH programs will be passed by the Oct. 1 start of the 2014 fiscal year. At this moment there also is no serious work likely to reverse the second wave of sequestration and little prospect of a grand bargain to address our fiscal woes.

This also means that September will be a critical month to watch how the budget brinksmanship plays out and if a continuing resolution can be passed to sustain funding for critical programs. AMCHP will be monitoring and reporting closely, and may call on MCH leaders to weigh in with elected officials if and when any funding details emerge. In the meantime, I am sharing my list of 10 macro observations that I think will shape our collective future:

DEMOGRAPHICS

50.4 percent – number of children younger than one born last year who were Hispanic, Black, Asian American or in other minority groups

BUDGET

$16.7 trillion – current U.S. debt

$795 million – current U.S. deficit

$450 million – estimated combined federal and state reductions to the Title V MCH Services Block Grant in past decade

$1 billion – estimated hit of sequestration to MCH programs (Title V, WIC, CDC, NIH, etc) for FY 2013

HEALTH REFORM

$1 trillion – estimated cost of ACA to provide stable insurance coverage, guarantee essential benefits and invest in prevention, home visiting, teen pregnancy prevention, etc over the next 10 years

30 million – estimated number of Americans to gain insurance via ACA. How will this change what Title V does in 2015 and beyond?

WORKFORCE

23 percent – Estimate of public health workers eligible to retire this year

52,000 – Number of public health jobs lost due to budget cuts in past five years

Many – partners that will be needed to sustain MCH programs through this temporary period of contraction

How does this list match your reality? Are there other factors you would like to see added? As always, please let us know what you think and how AMCHP can improve our work to support you. I can be reached at bewig@amchp.org.