President Biden’s FY 2022 Discretionary Request
The following is a statement by Randall Rutta, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Council:
As the COVID-19 pandemic made clear, increasing access to affordable, sustainable, equitable health care is essential. As the united voice for the 160 million Americans with chronic diseases and disabilities, we are pleased to see many priorities in President Biden’s budget that will address critical issues facing Americans and be transformative for health care in our country. Specifically, it:
- Invests in finding the next generation of cures for people with chronic conditions through funding increases for NIH’s biomedical research budget;
- Bolsters support for mental health access and funding for the Administration for Community Living to help older adults and people with disabilities live and thrive at home and in the community;
- Addresses institutional racism and health disparities through increased funding to expand access to culturally competent care and for the CDC’s Social Determinants of Health Program. It also prioritizes addressing our nation’s unacceptable maternal mortality and morbidity rates, which disproportionately impact Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women;
- Improves health care for rural Americans by providing access to quality health care and health professionals through rural residency programs and other community-based programs. It also prioritizes universal broadband access, which is critical to ensuring equitable expansion of telehealth services; and
- Enables the country to be better prepared for the next pandemic through increased CDC funding for public health preparedness.
With more than 28 million Americans, many with chronic conditions, still without meaningful health insurance and a legacy health system based on societal norms from a bygone era, the patient community is ready to lead on reimagining and rebuilding the system so that all Americans, no matter their health status, skin color, or where they live, have access to affordable and equitable care. While there are many details left to be seen, today’s announcement from the Administration lays out important building blocks to correct decades of wrongs and should lead to a better future for people with chronic diseases and disabilities as we work our way out of the pandemic.