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Policy Corner: President’s FY 2011 Budget Request Highlights Prevention and Wellness
The fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget that President Obama submitted to Congress on Feb. 1 provides significant increases for education, scientific research and development, and prevention and wellness programs. Highlighting the prioritization of these programs, the increases would be provided despite the White House instituting a three-year freeze in overall spending for non-security domestic discretionary programs projected to save $250 billion over the next decade. This budget request provides ACSM members with a unique opportunity to work with federal agency officials and administration leaders on many issues that are central to ACSM’s priority agenda.

The stated priorities in the President’s FY 2011 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its offices and agencies include:

  • Investing in scientific research and development;
  • Reinforcing the public health infrastructure to ensure preparedness;
  • Reducing health care fraud;
  • Supporting prevention and wellness programs; and
  • Improving quality and access to care.
A strong theme that cuts across the agencies of HHS is the proposed funding to support community, state and regional health care and human services systems. Integration of behavioral health initiatives into existing primary health care systems would expand the support of HHS-supported programs in preventive care and wellness. The implicit message is clear – develop and foster productive partnerships that can bridge the divide between research and effective implementation of strategies that can improve the human condition, which provides ACSM members with a tremendous opportunity to work with agency and administration officials on mutual areas of interest.

Specifically, the President proposes significant national investments in agencies and programs critical to the ACSM community:
  • National Institutes of Health – $32.24 billion in FY 2011 (3.2 percent above the FY 2010 appropriated funding level);
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – $6.34 billion in FY 2011 (while its funding is flat when taking into account the unobligated funds available as a result of the FY 2009 pandemic influenza supplemental appropriation), a priority for the agency includes the development and implementation of behavioral and prevention programs, as well as establishing a community health program that works with large cities to prevent chronic disease.
ACSM leaders have already met with (and will continue to meet with) officials from the National Institutes for Health, CDC, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the HHS Office of Minority Health on such issues as expanding patient-centered health research, supporting a health care workforce that emphasizes wellness, expanding the capacity of community health centers to include an emphasis on prevention, and developing electronic medical records that incorporate physical activity as a data point.


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