Budget Appropriations (Sequestration)
C2EA is focused on working in coalition to ensure that Non Defense Discretionary (NDD) funding is maintained at the highest levels. Discretionary funding is the part of the federal budget that is dedicated to allocating resources to medical and scientific research, public health, housing, social services and international relations, (this is inclusive of HIV/AIDS treatment, services, prevention and research). In addition, public safety, law enforcement, education, job training and basic infrastructure, weather monitoring, environmental protection, natural and cultural resources are part of NDD.
Discretionary programs differ from entitlement programs (i.e., Medicaid and Medicare) that are funded automatically to meet the needs of those who qualify, in that they are funded annually through the congressionally led appropriations process. However Medicare will be effectively (though not directly) cut by 2% ($11.08 billion) through reductions in payments to hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers.
Each year the first part of the budget process establishes a baseline number for NDD funding. After which, all areas funded from the NDD pool is given an appropriation that must pass both the House and the Senate. In order for those areas that impact people living with HIV/AIDS to receive appropriate funding we advocate for the highest possible number in NDD funding.
Sequestration: The Budget Control Act of 2011 established caps on discretionary spending over 10 years. This will lead to $1 trillion in cuts across defense and NDD programs. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the “Super Committee”) was tasked with identifying an additional $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years. The failure of the Super Committee to do so triggered sequestration – across the board cuts to most defense and non-defense programs – in addition to the $1 trillion in cuts already sustained. Sequestration took effect on March 1, 2013 – what has been referred to as going over the “fiscal cliff.” . This will mean an automatic 8.4% cut to program funding levels for most NDD programs – with no departmental or agency control of how the sequester impacts programs.
Examples of the impact include:
(Information below credited to amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research)
~ “8,610 Americans living with HIV/AIDS will lose access to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides life-saving medication to low-income PLWHA. Recent research has shown that, in addition to saving and improving the lives of PLWHA, HIV treatment can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to an uninfected partner by 96 percent.”
~ “5,540 people of color will lose access to ADAP services.”
~ “Under the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA), which provides housing and supportive assistance to PLWHA who are unable to afford housing, 1,530 fewer households will receive permanent housing and 1,640 fewer households will receive short-term assistance to prevent homelessness. Research demonstrates a direct relationship between improved housing status and reduced HIV risk behaviors.”
~ “1,890 households that include at least one person of color will lose HOPWA housing services; 570 households that include at least one Hispanic person will lose housing services.”
~ “The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 30 years, will lose $153.7 million in AIDS research funding. 280 AIDS research grants will go unfunded, including 31 specifically funding AIDS vaccine research. It is estimated that AIDS research funded by the NIH has led to a gain of more than 14.4 million life-years globally since 1995.”
~ “Over $39.3 million will be cut from state and local HIV prevention efforts funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including efforts targeting young people and adults at high risk of infection. Among other programs, prevention efforts support testing to help identify the 18 percent of Americans living with HIV who do not know they are infected.”
Coalition on Human Needs - “Impacts of Sequestration”
(includes Executive Branch Resources, weekly updates on real impacts of the sequester in communities across the country, and state-by-state fact sheets)
“Health Care Cuts from Vaccinations to Research” (3/11/13; By Michael Ollove for Stateline, The Daily News Service of the Pew Charitable Trusts)