House Appropriators Pass FY 20 Health Spending
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.