House Appropriations Subcommittee Votes to Cut Critical Health Programs
July 20, 2012
The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee held a mark up on Wednesday, July 18th to debate the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) appropriations bill. Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) stated the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is a cut of $6.3 billion below Fiscal Year 2012 level and $8.8 billion below the President's budget request and the Senate committee's approved bill. The President's and the Senate's version are based on the Budget and Control Act approved last year during the budget deficit debates. The funding level is more than $2 billion below the amount provided in fiscal year 2009 for this bill. AIDS United is opposed to this legislation due the drastic cuts to critical health programs.
The Health and Human Services portion of the bill is $68.3 billion, $1.3 billion below the Fiscal Year 2012 levels, $1.8 billion below the president's request, and $2.7 billion below the Senate bill's level. In another attempt to eradicate health care reform, the subcommittee completely defunds the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill also rescinds mandatory funding of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. In addition, $300 million was cut from the expansion of Community Health Centers as part of defunding of the ACA.
The bill cuts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB by $105 million. Overall, the Ryan White Program is cut by $66.5 million, with an increase of $66.7 million for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to match the President's request of $1 billion. All of the other parts of the Ryan White Program will be cut to allow that increase to occur. The National Institutes of Health was flat funded with a 3% cap on transfers of funding to the Office of AIDS Research, which has previously been 10%. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which houses the HIV Research Network, was zeroed out in this bill as well.
For the second year in a row this bill zeroes out funding for Title X, which pays for such medical services as HIV testing, contraception and cancer screenings, primarily for low-income women. It also forbids any funding to Planned Parenthood for the second straight year. The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative was cut $85 million to $20 million. Abstinence-only funding was increased by $15 million to $20 million. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) was drastically cut in this legislation. It retains funding for the Senior Volunteer program and funding to close out everything else including the Social Innovation Fund and AmeriCorps.
Prior to the final vote Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) offered an amendment against all of the policy riders, including syringe services, ban on Planned Parenthood funding, abortion non-discrimination, and others since the policies are legislating on an appropriations bill. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment to strike the Planned Parenthood provision. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered an amendment to strike ACA defunding provision. All of the amendments were defeated along party line votes 9-5.
The final bill was approved by an 8-6 vote with Chair Rogers for the bill and Ranking Member Dicks voting against. Rep. Flake (R-AZ) voted with the Democrats against the bill since he felt the funding was too high. The bill may be brought to the full Appropriations Committee for discussion and amendments next week, but that is not yet certain. We have been told that funding amendments will be entertained at that time. We will keep you informed.
Click here for the entire bill.
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This article was provided by AIDS United. It is a part of the publication AIDS United Policy Update. Visit AIDS United's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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