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ADA, others urge Congress to continue funding HRSA programs

March 31, 2017

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA is urging Congress to continue funding critical Health Resources and Services Administration programs in 2018.

As part of the Friends of HRSA coalition, led by the American Public Health Association, the ADA and more than 150 organizations are asking the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to recommend providing $7.48 billion for discretionary HRSA programs in the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.

"Investing in programs that keep people healthy is important for the vitality of our nation," the coalition wrote. "HRSA programs have been successful in improving the health of people at highest risk for poor health outcomes."

The letter noted that HRSA supports efforts that "drive quality care, better leverage existing investments and achieve improved health outcomes at a lower cost." These efforts include:

  • Providing comprehensive, cost-effective care to more than 24.2 million people at HRSA health centers.
  • Supporting the health workforce across the entire training continuum and addresses workforce distribution challenges to ensure access to care in underserved areas.
  • Maternal and Child Health programs, which promote optimal health, minimize disparities and prevent chronic conditions for vulnerable women, infants and children.
  • The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.
In addition to discretionary funding, HRSA receives mandatory funding for multiple programs. At the end of fiscal year 2017, mandatory funding is slated to expire for Community Health Centers, National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Centers Program, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Together, mandatory resources for these programs account for 41 percent of HRSA's total program level.

"We urge the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations committees to work with your authorizing colleagues to ensure continued funding for these programs," the coalition wrote. "In the absence of continued mandatory funding for these programs, it will be exceedingly difficult to address these shortfalls in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill."

The Friends of HRSA is a coalition dedicated to supporting programs that are essential for a healthy nation.

Follow all of the ADA's advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.