Health Center Federal Policy, Uncategorized

Vote on “Johanns Amendment” Will Be Important Test of Support for Prevention Fund

By Krystal E. Knight, MPH

Prior to the August congressional recess, Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) offered an amendment to the Small Business Jobs & Credit Act (H.R.5297) to strike a new 1099 reporting requirement in the Affordable Care Act. The amendment proposed to pay for the cost of striking the reporting requirement by eliminating the funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund for its first 7 seven years. 

NACHC recently signed on to a letter being circulated by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) opposing the use of the Prevention and Public Health Fund as an offset for the Johanns amendment. NACHC has not taken a position on the underlying amendment, but opposes the use of the Prevention Fund as a means of offsetting the amendment’s costs.

As you’ll recall, the Prevention and Public Health Fund was authorized as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and was directly appropriated increasing annual amounts totaling $5 billion from FY2010 to FY2014. The Fund was also directly appropriated $2 billion in FY2015 and each subsequent year. This Fund is separate from the Health Center Fund also authorized and appropriated within ACA. NACHC supported the creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund throughout the health reform process. The first year’s allocation of funding, announced by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius several months ago, directed $250 million to support the training and development of 16,000 new primary care providers through 2015 (read previous blog post here) and then an additional $250 million for a variety of prevention activities (HHS fact sheet here).

The vote on the Johann’s amendment, expected to take place early the week of September 13th when the Senate returns to session, is a critical test of support for the Prevention Fund. For additional background information and talking points prepared by Senate HELP Committee Majority staff, click here.