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Economic stimulus legislation provides funds for public health

Mar 16, 2009

Economic stimulus legislation provides funds for public health

President Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, HR 1, into law in February.

Part of the stimulus package goes to public health funding, as follows:

  • $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research, to be allocated as $300 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), $400 million for NIH, and $400 million for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allocate. The funding in the conference agreement shall be used to conduct or support research to evaluate and compare the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, risk and benefits of two or more medical treatments and services that address a particular medical condition.
  • $1 billion for the Wellness and Prevention Fund, under the Office of the Secretary’s Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, allocated as follows: $300 million for the CDC 317 immunization program; $50 million to reduce healthcare associated infections; and $650 million to carry out evidence-based clinical and community-based  prevention and wellness strategies authorized by the Public Health Services Act, as determined by the Secretary, that deliver specific, measurable health outcomes that address chronic disease rates.

  • The Secretary must develop an operating plan for these funds and shall, directly or through contracts with public or private entities, provide for annual evaluations of programs carried out with funds provided under this heading in order to determine the quality and effectiveness of the programs.
  • $2 billion to HHS/Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) for health information technology improvements.
  • $300 million for the Nation Health Service Corps recruitment and field activities.
  • $200 million for primary care medicine, dentistry, public health and preventive medicine programs, the scholarship and loan repayment programs authorized under PHSA under title VII and title VIII, and cross-state licensing for health specialists.
  • $1.5 billion for community health center construction and equipment.

Up to 0.5% of the Wellness and HRSA funds may be used for administration and oversight. At this point, information is not available on how this funding will impact EMS, but we will keep you posted as updates and details are published.

For more information, visit the House Rules Committee’s homepage at