Health Center Federal Policy

The President’s Budget: What It Means for National Health Service Corps, Ryan White and the CDC

by Heather Jinkins

In last week’s blog, we told you about what the FY2013 President’s Budget outlined for Medicaid and Medicare and we’ve also shared NACHC’s reaction to the President’s budget proposal for health centers. This week we’ll take you through how the budget treated other programs of interest to health centers.

Brief Overview

As you’ll recall from NACHC’s press release on the President’s Budget, the budget funds the Health Centers Program at a total programmatic level of $3.1 billion, or a $300 million increase. If the $300 million increase were fully utilized, it would provide enough funding for an additional 2.5 million Americans to receive access to care at a health center next year. Additionally, the budget addresses the need for steady and sustainable growth for the Health Centers Program, including in FY2015 and beyond. Unfortunately, the budget also calls for limited utilization of the proposed increase, supporting the creation of just 25 new health centers that would expand care to only about 60,000 additional patients, while allocating the bulk of next year’s increase to prevent future year shortfalls in funding.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

The President’s Budget continues the elimination of annual appropriations for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) as did the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012(P.L. 112-74). The president includes the full $300 million for FY 2013 provided by the mandatory NHSC Fund established under the Affordable Care Act. This represents a $5 million increase over the FY2012 funding level. According to the budget, this will allow for over 1,100 new Loan Repayment awards and 3,400 Loan Repayment Continuation awards in addition to an estimated 180 new Scholarship awards and 15 Continuations. The NHSC Fund will expire in FY 2016.

The Ryan White Program

The Budget in­cludes $2.4 billion for the Ryan White program to expand access to care for persons living with HIV/AIDS who are otherwise unable to afford health care and re­lated support services. This is an increase of $75 million over the FY2012 funding level. The Budget also includes $1 billion for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), an increase of $67 million over the FY2012 funding level, to expand access to HIV-related medications. The budget proposal also includes a funding increase for Ryan White Part C of over $20 million.  According to the budget, this will allow the Part C Program to continue primary care services for 251,390 persons living with HIV/AIDS at the 344 currently-funded Part C programs (roughly a third of which are also health centers). The budget aims to increase the number of people receiving primary care services through Part C to 265,325.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Budget request for the CDC includes $4.99 billion in discretionary funding, $664 million less than FY2012 funding level (a 10.04% cut). Even if all the mandatory funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund were allocated to CDC, then funding would still be significantly reduced from last year. As we’ve also highlighted this week, Congress took the President’s proposed reduction to the Prevention Fund and added to it as an offset for the Payroll Tax bill last week.