Recognizing Critical National Priorities

Recognizing Health, Education, Job Training, Children’s and Social Services Programs as Critical National Priorities.

September 2, 2011
 

The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye                      The Honorable Thad Cochran
Chairman                                                         Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations                         Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate                                                      U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510                                    Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Harold Rogers                         The Honorable Norm Dicks
Chairman                                                         Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations                         Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives                       U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515                                    Washington, DC 20515

 

The 532 undersigned education, training, disability, public health, medical research, patient advocacy, women’s, children’s, civil rights, anti-poverty, faith and labor organizations respectfully urge you to recognize health, education, job training, children’s and social services programs as critical national priorities as you determine the final 302(b) allocations for the FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bills. Additional investment in these domestic programs will boost the economy and reduce the deficit through prevention of costly chronic diseases, increased earnings, and reduced expenditures for unemployment and other social service programs.

Health, education, job training, children’s and social services programs are continually asked to do more with less. These domestic programs have experienced significant erosion over the past several years despite their important role in keeping Americans healthy, productive, competitive, and secure. As a result, America’s status as a global superpower has been compromised. The Central Intelligence Agency in 2011 ranks the United States 47th in infant mortality - widely recognized as a basic indicator of a country’s overall health - behind even some developing countries. America is also falling behind our industrialized counterparts in academic achievement. Scores from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment showed that U.S. 15-year-olds ranked 20th in science and 30th in math. Our nation still faces large and unacceptable gaps by race and socioeconomic status in student achievement, high school graduation and college attendance and completion rates.

With the enactment of the Budget Control Act, the FY 2012 discretionary spending cap for non security programs is some $3 billion below the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution level. While the Senate has not yet made 302(b) allocations, we strongly oppose the House subcommittee allocation, which is $18 billion or 11.6 percent below the FY 2011 level.

We urge you to set a final 302(b) allocation to the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee that recognizes the value of health, education, job training, children’s and social services in improving the lives of American families and strengthening our nation’s global position. These programs should be protected from further cuts that would have profound consequences on our nation’s global competitiveness and our capacity to address the needs of the most vulnerable.

If you have questions about this letter, please contact Emily Holubowich, Executive Director, Coalition for Health Funding (eholubowich@dc-crd.com or 202.484.1100), Joel Packer, Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding (jpacker@cef.org or 202.383-0083) or Rachel Gragg, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (rachelg@nationalskillscoalition.org or 202-223-8991).

View the full list of signers.

Cc: Members, House and Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittees


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