In August 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) was signed into law. This legislation was developed in response to Congressional efforts to address the national debt.
BCA put a cap on discretionary spending over the next decade (equaling $1 trillion in budget cuts) and required Congress to agree on an additional $1.2 trillion in cuts. Following the failure of Congress to identify a bi-partisan plan.
Automatic across-the-board cuts (sequestration) were triggered. The sequestration cuts went into effect on January 2, 2013.
As delineated in BCA sequestration cuts will be split evenly between security and non-security programs in total of at least $1.2 trillion.
It is estimated that this will result in cuts of between 8-10% to all non-defense discretionary programs (NDDs). NDD programs cover a wide range of federal programs, but account for almost all public health programs besides Medicare and Medicaid. NDDs equal only 17% of all federal spending and health funding totals less than 2% overall.
Already, the public health sector has seen on average, 5% cut in funding each fiscal year. However, this would be the first time that all agencies are subject to significant simultaneous funding losses.
This will have devastating effects on many of these programs and the people they serve. At the NIH, for example, these cuts will likely result in withdrawal of some grant money, the closing of some labs, and some scientists being laid off. Without grants, labs, and scientists research will be delayed and life-saving innovations halted.
Similar situations would occur simultaneously within the CDC, HRSA, and the FDA. This would likely mean less funding available to many federal grantees and their clients.
Has Sequestration Affected You?
The Senate Budget Committee wants to hear stories from around the country about the real people, communities, and public health efforts that have been impacted by the sequestration cuts this year. If your practice or patients has been affected, please log on and let them know! Or, if you are a federal grantee, and have seen the effects of sequestration in your grant, let them hear about it!
Click on any of the links under the Federal Funding of HIV Programs page to learn more about this subject, get involved, or see AAHIVM's policy work in this area.