AcademyHealth’s CEO and President Aaron Carroll issued the following statement upon the release of the House Appropriations Committee’s FY25 funding bill for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies. It’s release:

“Today, the House Appropriations Committee released a shocking and reckless bill that decimates federal research, science, and medicine programs, and puts the health of all Americans at risk. It is not too late for the Committee to try again.

“As the professional home for individuals and organizations that produce and use health services research to make health care safer, more affordable, more equitable, and more accessible, AcademyHealth is deeply disappointed by the House Appropriator's FY25 bill. This budget is short-sighted, fails to acknowledge the shortcomings in the health care system, much less seriously addresses them, and should be soundly rejected.

“Repeating the unfortunate mistake made in the FY24 House Appropriations bill, this bill would again eliminate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in its entirety. AHRQ supports research to improve health care quality, reduce costs, advance patient safety, decrease medical errors, and broaden access to essential services. Over 170 organizations through the Friends of AHRQ made the case crystal clear – we need more support for this research to meet these challenging times. These organizations represented every corner of the health care world – patients, providers, nurses, hospitals, insurers, health systems, universities, think tanks, and more – emphasizing how noncontroversial and nonpartisan it is that we produce the best evidence on how to deliver the best care equitably.

“As rural patients struggle with health care access as their hospitals close and doctors move further away, AHRQ has been their close partner. AHRQ formally recognizes rural Americans as a priority health group and focuses on identifying drivers of poor health outcomes, finding connections through telehealth, recruiting and retaining a robust rural health care workforce, and tackling the opioid epidemic. Instead of working with AHRQ as it pioneers novel projects and programs for rural Americans, this bill abolishes AHRQ altogether.

“If all this bill did was eliminate AHRQ, it would be sufficient for Congress to reject it immediately. Unfortunately, many other programs and world-leading American innovations are harmed by this bill, all of which put patients, health systems, and researchers in a far poorer position. This bill eliminates numerous health workforce training programs at a time of record burnout and workforce shortages. It slashes CDC by 22 percent, removing funding for research in Firearm Injury, Opioid Overdose Prevention, Rape Prevention, Suicide Prevention, and Tobacco Prevention, Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative, Climate and Health initiatives, the Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant, and many, many more programs. It would also eliminate Title X Family Planning funding alongside a $647 million cut to HRSA. This bill defunds nearly every federal effort to address the health disparities that unjustly burden our patients and programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion that help make our policies reflect our communities.  

“Our country’s problems in delivering high-value and equitable care are significant. With patients and frontline health workers fighting barriers to care, misinformation, and outright lies that travel faster than the truth, Congress must partner by continuing their FY24 priorities for better care rather than becoming an obstacle. The production, dissemination, and implementation of cutting-edge research is paramount. We need the House Appropriations Committee to try again and markup at least at the full Fiscal Responsibility Act nondefense discretionary levels.

“And we need Congress to hear from all of us, loudly and clearly. Find your Representative here and tell them what health services research means to you, and that funding for effective, high-quality, high-value, patient-centered care and research must be preserved.”

Josh Caplan Headshot

Josh Caplan, M.A., M.P.P.

Director for Government Affairs - AcademyHealth

Josh Caplan is the Director for Government Affairs at AcademyHealth, overseeing advocacy and public policy str... Read Bio

Aaron Carroll Headshot
Author, Board Member, Member, Staff

Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., M.S.

President and CEO - AcademyHealth

Dr. Aaron E. Carroll is President & CEO of AcademyHealth. A nationally recognized thought leader, science comm... Read Bio

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