July 21, 2023
Rep. Kay Granger
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairwoman Granger,
The draft fiscal year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill passed by a House Appropriations subcommittee earlier this week casts a dark shadow over the immediate future of preventive healthcare for women and girls. If passed by the full House and Senate, the bill would cripple our current healthcare system and drive deep inequity by slashing programs that support maternal and child health, diluting funding for cancer, mental health research, and neurological research, and eliminating programs that provide access to health services.
The Alliance for Women’s Health & Prevention (AWHP) exists to address preventive health policy issues by working with a broad coalition of health providers, educators, patient groups, provider organizations, policymakers, and health officials around a wide range of issues. We are on a mission to preserve and protect equitable access to high-quality preventive health care and the promotion of disease prevention for all women and girls.
We are particularly concerned by the following elements of the bill that bring deep cuts to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Eliminates funding for Title X Family Planning, a cut of $286 million below the enacted level
- Cuts $35 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
- Cuts $49 million from the Office on Women’s Health
- Eliminates funding for Healthy Start, a cut of $145 million below the enacted level
- Eliminates funding for the Ending HIV Epidemic initiative, a cut of $220 million below the enacted level
- Eliminates funding for multiple programs to support diversity in the healthcare workforce, including the Health Careers Opportunity Program ($16 million), Centers of Excellence ($28 million), and Nursing Workforce Diversity ($24 million)
- Decreases HHS spending by 14%, causing a ripple effect on the agencies that fall under its purview, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
- Cuts CDC funds and eliminates funding for Tobacco Prevention and Control, and decreases funding for Public Health Data Modernization
AWHP is urging House lawmakers to reject these cuts that could weaken our ability to drive cutting-edge biomedical research and could leave our nation’s most vulnerable populations sick and disempowered. We are calling for a budget bill that restores the funding of critical agencies to current spending funding levels, preserves the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and prioritizes the healthcare needs of women and girls.