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Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on the President’s FY 2022 Discretionary Funding Request

Key investments focus on public health preparedness, health equity and the opioid crisis

The Biden Administration today submitted to Congress the President’s priorities for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 2022) discretionary spending. The funding request invests in the core foundations of our country’s strength and advances key HHS priorities, including public health preparedness, health equity, biomedical research, reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, and ending the opioid crisis.

“COVID-19 shed light on how health inequities and lack of federal funding left communities vulnerable to crises.” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The President’s funding request invests in America, addresses racial disparities in health care, tackles the opioid crisis, and puts us on a better footing to take on the next public health crisis.”

Highlights of the President’s FY 2022 discretionary request for HHS include:

  • Strengthening National and Global Readiness for the Next Public Health Crisis.  The discretionary request includes [$8.7 billion] for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), an increase of [$1.6 billion] over 2021 enacted levels.  This would be the largest annual budget authority increase for CDC in nearly 20 years and is needed to restore capacity to the world’s preeminent public health agency.  Building on the investments in the American Rescue Plan, CDC will use additional funding to support core public health capacity improvements, modernize public health data and train a cadre of epidemiologists and other public health experts who can deploy and support public health efforts. Additional funding will also enhance CDC's ability to deploy experts internationally and build international capacity to detect and respond to emerging global health threats.
  • Promoting Health Equity by Addressing Racial Disparities.  The nation must continue taking swift action to prevent and remedy stark racial disparities in health and health care delivery in America, some of which have been laid bare by the COVID-19 crisis.  The discretionary request builds on the existing efforts in the American Rescue Plan to advance equity and reduce health disparities in all healthcare programs.  The discretionary request provides additional funding to increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce and expand access to culturally relevant care.  To begin redressing long standing health inequities experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives, the discretionary request includes an increase of $2.2 billion in the Indian Health Service. The discretionary request also includes $153 million for CDC to focus on social determinants of health, an increase of $150 million over FY 2021 enacted levels, to support efforts to improve health equity.
  • Providing Funding to Reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate and End Race-Based Disparities in Maternal Mortality.  The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women.  To help end this high rate of maternal and race-based disparities in pregnancy outcomes, the discretionary request includes more than $200 million.  The increase will help reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates nationwide; bolster Maternal Mortality Review Committees nationwide; expand the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program; help cities place early childhood development experts in pediatrician offices with a high percentage patients who use Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); encourage implicit bias training for healthcare providers, and create State pregnancy medical home programs.
  • Promotes Biomedical Research and Establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). The discretionary request includes $51 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $9 billion increase over the 2021 enacted level, to continue to support research that enhances health, lengthens life, and reduces illness and disability. Included in this increase is $6.5 billion to establish ARPA-H. With an initial focus on cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s, this major investment in Federal research and development would drive transformational innovation in health research and speed application and implementation of health breakthroughs.
  • Advancing the Goal of Ending the Opioid Crisis.  The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the deadly opioid crisis in America.  Drug overdoses, including those that involve opioid use, have led to more than 85,000 deaths in the 12 months ending in August 2020.  The discretionary request provides an historic investment of $10.7 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion over 2021 enacted levels, to help end the opioid crisis, including funding for States and Tribes, medication-assisted treatment, research, and expanding the behavioral health provider workforce.

These discretionary investments reflect the major discretionary elements of the President’s broader agenda within HHS. In the coming months, the Administration will release the President’s Budget, which will present a unified, comprehensive plan to address the overlapping crises we face in a fiscally and economically responsible way. 

For more information on the President’s FY 2022 discretionary funding request, please visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/FY-2022-Discretionary-Request.

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