On July 11, 2013, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY14 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill. The bill provides $164.3 billion in discretionary funds for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Departments, representing a 25% higher allocation than the expected House appropriations value ($121.8 billion) and a $7.8 billion increase from 2013 levels. The total discretionary level for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is $6.554 billion and the bill provides $285.1 million for Title VII programs. Most Title VII programs were funded at FY13 pre-sequestration levels. National Institutes of Health (NIH) was funded at over $30 billion, which is an increase of $307 million over the FY13 enacted level.
The Senate bill fully funds implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including $5.2 billion for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services program management and, specifically, $640 million for health care fraud and abuse control. The level of funding allocated for the Labor-HHS is 22% below enacted levels for the last fiscal year. The following is a summary of priority items for academic dentistry, dental and craniofacial research, and other items of interest contained in the Senate bill.
Title VII: Oral Health Training
- The President’s budget requests $32,392,000 for FY14, the same amount that was appropriated in FY12. The Committee recommendation is for $32,654,000, a small increase of $262,000, and includes ADEA’s requested set aside of $8,000,000 each for Pediatric and General Dentistry.
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program—Part F
- The President’s budget request holds this program to the FY12 level of $13,485,000; despite ADEA’s requested increase to $15,000,000, the Committee recommended the program be funded at $13,485,000.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
- The President’s request for FY14 is $411,515,000; however, the Committee recommendation is for $409, 947,000. This is a $58,000 increase over last year’s level.
CDC Division of Oral Health
- The President proposed $14,653,000; ADEA requested $19,000,000 and the Committee recommended $15,000,000. This is a small increase over last year’s level.
Other Programs of Interest:
- The President requested no funds for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) or the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). However, the Committee has recommended $14,942,000 for HCOP and $30,025,000 for the AHEC program.
- The Faculty Loan Repayment Program continues to receive support at a fairly constant level. The Committee recommends $1,253,000 for FY14.
- The Centers of Excellence program, which seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the health profession workforce, is funded at $22,863,000.
The Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) put together a chart for a comparative breakdown of funding levels for both Title VII and Title VIII programs.
Soon after the bill was approved, the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee announced that it had postponed further consideration of the bill. Congressional Quarterly reported, “The postponement came amid reports about the specific reductions that would be needed to get the Labor-HHS bill to $122 billion in discretionary spending, down 23% from the $157 billion enacted level for this fiscal year.” For now, the bill is on hold until the budgetary issues are addressed.