Health Center Federal Policy, Uncategorized

An Annual Ritual: Washington Waits for the Release of the President’s Budget

by Krystal E. Knight

It’s seems like only yesterday Congress passed the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which unfortunately level-funded the Health Centers program at $2.2 billion. Well, another appropriations season is upon us and it all starts Monday when the President releases his FY2011 Budget. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will present the HHS portion of President Obama’s budget on Monday, February 1st.  NACHC will have representatives at the presentation, but most of us will be anxiously monitoring the unveiling and analyzing the numbers from our desks the minute the budget is posted (most likely around 12:30EST on this web page for those who can’t just wait for the Washington Update) .

In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, the President confirmed media reports that he will request a 3-year freeze on discretionary spending. However, this freeze will not be across the board, rather some programs will be cut and others increased.

With the President’s budget unveiled, NACHC will be moving forward to implement our annual appropriations strategy, this year doing so in parallel to our continuing efforts to secure mandatory health center funding in health reform.

We’ll be back on Monday with an update on what the President’s Budget says about the Health Centers program, the National Health Service Corps, and other key programs.

Stay tuned!