The continuing resolution (CR) that funds the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year (HR 1473) cuts CDC overall by $730 million however roughly $280 million of those cuts could directly impact actual programs such as hepatitis. There is an additional 0.2% recission which cuts Division of Viral Hepatitis by $38,600. The exact FY2011 fiscal impact on hepatitis program activity at the Division is unknown.
The CR requires that HHS provide to Congress within 30 days of enactment or by May 15 a detailed plan of the cuts. Given this spending plan is likely to be developed within the next couple of weeks by HHS leadership, HAP/NVHR will send a community sign-on letter to Secretary Sebelius and CDC Director Dr. Frieden requesting that no cuts be made to hepatitis program activity; especially given the upcoming HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan. HAP will also send communications to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources (ASFR).
There may be communication from Appropriators on how they would like the cuts to be allocated but it is unclear whether this communication is confidential.
While Congress will focus on FY2012 after the recess and the House has passed its budget resolution, the process is not yet set and we do not know Committee and Member deadlines for funding requests. HAP will continue to develop a community sign-on letter and collect report language that may have to be revisited if the FY2012 process is delayed past the release of the HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan. HAP is also developing a Dear Colleague tri-caucus letter around health disparities.
One other opportunity to increase and/or protect hepatitis resources is in an overall package included in an FY2012 budget amendment if the President sends one to Congress that will focus on entitlement and tax code reform.