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 Legislative & Policy Corner

Very Bad Allocations
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2014 allocations for the 12 annual spending bills. The plan follows the post sequestration $967 billion spending cap. The Labor-HHS-Ed bill that funds HRSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would receive an allocation of $121.8 billion for FY 2014, an 18.6 percent cut below the FY 2013 post-sequester level (the largest reduction of any of the allocations). President Obama and Democrats are proposing a level of $165.8 billion in FY 2014 for the Labor-HHS-Ed bill. As expected, the proposal significantly exceeds the post-sequestration funding levels for the defense bill, providing a 5.4 percent increase over the FY 2013 post-sequestration level for that bill. Homeland security, Milcon-VA and Legislative Branch would also receive increases over FY 13 post-sequester levels.

If this bill goes forward with the aforementioned allocations it is expected that the House could propose the outright elimination of some agencies, programs and or dramatically reduce funding across the board. This level of cuts is outrageous and would decimate public health infrastructure, programs and research. As such, AMCHP, along with March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the National WIC Association issued a joint press statement vehemently opposing the House allocations. 

Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) Reauthorization
During the past couple of weeks, AMCHP staff participated in a series of meetings to discuss reauthorization and extension of the MIECHV program. Funding for this program expires at the end of fiscal year 2014. Notably, organizations agreed that we should support a straight extension of the program without any policy changes given the political climate. AMCHP will continue to partner with a number of groups and home visiting models during the upcoming months to ensure sustained funding for the program.