The AAMC joined nearly 200 members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coalition in a March 1 letter to leaders from the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies recommending an investment of at least $10 billion for the CDC in fiscal year (FY) 2022.
In the letter, the CDC Coalition thanked Congress for the emergency supplemental funds provided to the CDC to combat COVID-19 and urged significant increases to the base budget through annual appropriations to support the CDC programs addressing many other public health threats facing the country every day that historically have been underfunded. If enacted, the coalition’s recommendation would represent a $2.2 billion or 28% increase over the comparable FY 2021 funding level.
“[The] CDC serves as the command center for the nation’s public health defense system against emerging and reemerging infectious diseases as well as man-made and natural disasters. … In addition to playing a leading role in protecting the public’s health from COVID-19, CDC is faced with many other unprecedented challenges and responsibilities ranging from chronic disease prevention to combating the opioid, tobacco, e-cigarette use and obesity epidemics to emergency preparedness,” the coalition stated.
“It is notable that more than 70% of CDC’s budget supports public health and prevention activities through state and local health organizations and agencies, national public health partners and academic institutions,” the letter noted in describing the broad reach of the CDC’s financial support across the country.
In urging Congress to provide a significant investment in the CDC in FY 2022, the letter concluded, “In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health. Despite the progress CDC has made to meet these needs, the agency’s programs have been woefully underfunded.”