Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR, P.L. 112-175) that temporarily funds most federal programs, including AHRQ, at essentially their FY 2012 funding levels through March 27, 2013.
The CR does not prevent across-the-board funding cuts that will take effect Jan. 2, 2013, as a result of sequestration (sequestration was mandated under the Budget Control Act, P.L. 112-25, because Congress failed to identify $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by November 2011). AHRQ is exempt from sequestration because it is funded primarily through the Public Health Service evaluation tap, as opposed to a direct appropriation.
Both chambers have advanced proposals to fund programs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for FY 2013. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2013 spending bill (S. 3295, S.Rept. 112-176) on June 14, proposing $364.1 million for AHRQ and a $12 million transfer from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, for a total of $376.1 million. The funding level constitutes a $5 million (1.3 percent) cut below the comparable FY 2012 figure, but a $17 million boost over the president's request for AHRQ, which relied on a scheduled $62 million transfer from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund.
Meanwhile, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee on July 17 approved its draft version of the spending bill, which terminates AHRQ, rescinds any unobligated funds appropriated to the agency, and permits other agencies to carry out AHRQ activities, provided that those agencies are authorized to do so.
Director, Government Relations