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Stephanie Pellitt

, National Council for Behavioral Health

House Appropriators Pass FY 20 Health Spending

May 9, 2019 | Federal Budget | Comments
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The House Appropriations Committee approved its Labor-HHS budget for Fiscal Year 2020 on Wednesday, funding key federal health, education and labor programs for the year ahead. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) saw increases of $115 million to its programming which includes level funding for several key programs as well as new funding for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and substance use disorder workforce initiatives. The appropriations bill now heads to the House floor for consideration and a vote.

See the chart below for a summary of behavioral health funding levels:

Agency FY 2020 Funding FY 2020 vs FY 2019
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) $5.9 billion +$115 million
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Overall funding $41.1 billion +$2 billion
Community Mental Health Services Block Grant $757.6 million +$35 million
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant $1.9 billion Level funding
Promoting the Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care (PIPBHC) Grants $49.9 million Level funding
PIPBHC Technical Assistance and Training Center $2 million Level funding
Mental Health First Aid $20.9 million Level funding
State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants $1.5 billion Level funding
Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Expansion Grants $150 million Level funding
Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Professionals (authorized by 2018 SUPPORT Act) $25 million +$25 million


Notably, the House’s proposed budget includes funding for the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Workforce Loan Repayment Act, legislation that was introduced as a result of education and advocacy by the National Council and the Association for Behavioral Healthcare in Massachusetts. This law created a new loan forgiveness program specifically for SUD professionals in order to create incentives for students to pursue SUD treatment careers and increase treatment capacity. The National Council applauds House appropriators for supporting funding for this important initiative.


Despite the progress in moving appropriations bills through the House committee process, there remains great uncertainty as to how the House and Senate will address impending budget caps. Prior to finalizing a budget for FY 20, lawmakers must clear a measure to increase the budgetary spending caps mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 or face $125.7 billion in spending cuts that would automatically be triggered via a process known as sequestration.