APA participates in Coalition for Health Funding Hill Day

Organizations urge quick action to block sequester’s across-the-board cuts

APA was one of 38 health organizations represented in the Coalition for Health Funding’s Hill Day on Oct. 23. The Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) lobbies for strong budgets for all of the Public Health Service agencies.  Representatives from these organizations gathered to talk to 50 congressional offices about the serious consequences to health and research programs if 8.2 percent across-the-board cuts, approved as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, are allowed to take place in early January. The cuts were included as part of that bill to force a compromise on additional deficit reduction, but additional deficit reduction measures have not been approved by this session of Congress. Unable to agree on any combination of spending reductions, revenue increases or entitlement reforms, Congress has postponed discussion of this important topic until a ‘lame duck’ session after the Nov. 6 election.

Under sequestration, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget would be cut by $2.5 billion. The National Science Foundation would lose $456 million. Federal research and development accounts have already declined by 10 percent in real dollars since fiscal year 2010 due to smaller cuts and sub-inflationary increases. 

Jon Carson, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of White House Office of Public Engagement, spoke at the Hill Day’s kick-off to thank the participants for advocating for a more workable solution than $1.3 trillion in spending cuts. Organizational representatives divided into teams to make five congressional visits each. 

The Coalition for Health Funding is active in the NDD United group, which includes health, education, transportation and justice organizations and others concerned about sequestration’s impact on non-defense discretionary spending. Advocacy materials are available on the coalition’s website.