Lung Association Applauds Congress for its Passage of FY23 Funding Bill

Year-End Funding Package Includes Important Healthcare and Health Equity Legislation
In response to the passage of the omnibus appropriations bill funding the federal government through the remainder of fiscal year 2023, American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:

“After months of delay, we appreciate Congress completing its responsibility to fund government agencies and operations for fiscal year 2023. Agencies need dependable funding levels to accurately execute their programs – many of which are critical for lung health.

“The American Lung Association has long called for robust funding of public health programs at key agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Whether it’s educating the public on the dangers of tobacco use, monitoring levels of air pollution or researching new treatments for lung disease, these agencies play a direct role in achieving the vision of the American Lung Association – to live in a world free of lung disease.

“We appreciate the increases in topline funding for CDC, EPA and NIH in the final bill. The bill provides an additional $2.5 billion for NIH, $760 million for CDC and $575 million for EPA. The Lung Association is especially pleased to see the investments in lung health at CDC, including a $5 million increase for CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, a $3 million increase for the CDC National Asthma Control Program and a $1.5 million increase for the Chronic Disease Education and Awareness program. We are also grateful for programmatic increases to the EPA’s clean air work, which drives cleanup of dangerous air pollution.

“However, we are disappointed in the flat funding for the CDC’s Office on Climate and Health and the omission of funding for the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity at HHS. As our nation endures more extreme weather events including wildfires, floods and hurricanes that are impacting health, we urge Congress to prioritize climate programs and appropriately fund them. 

“This bill also includes a number of other key policies and provisions for which the American Lung Association has advocated, including: 
  • Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2029; 
  • Children under 19 who are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid will have continuous healthcare coverage for one year once they qualify, regardless of any changes in their family’s income; 
  • A five-year extension of Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and funding for other territories was made permanent. Puerto Rico has disproportionately high asthma rates, making this extension especially important for lung health; 
  • Postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months for pregnant persons was made permanent in the 37 states with current coverage. While we had hoped it would extend nationwide, it leaves the door open for the remaining 13 states to act; 
  • Funding for telehealth in Medicare for an additional two years; 
  • Provisions to enhance diversity in clinical trials; and
  • The Legacy IRA Act, which allows seniors to make tax-free contributions from their individual retirement accounts to charitable 501c3 organizations.
“We are also pleased this bill does not include provisions under the guise of ‘permitting reform’ that would curtail community engagement on local polluting projects or expand fossil fuel infrastructure. 

“Almost three years into a pandemic, the importance of public health funding continues to be apparent. Agencies need sustained and robust funding to carry out long-term strategies to improve health and wellbeing. 

“The American Lung Association urges President Biden to sign this legislation. We look forward to working with the 118th Congress on the next round of funding bills and will continue to push for strong investments in public health.”
For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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