On Wednesday, President Obama signed into law a package of spending bills that provide $446.8 billion to programs and agencies across the federal government. Included in this bill was $105 million for Healthy Start. This represents a $2.6 million increase over last year’s level. The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant was flat-funded at the same amount as last year: $662 million. The overall budget for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at HRSA increased a modest $10 million (this includes the $2.6 million increase for Healthy Start). Despite the increase for Healthy Start, there remains tremendous amount of work to be done educating lawmakers and their staff about the importance of providing services and support to mothers and babies.
For a complete summary of provisions related to the Department of Health and Human Services, click here.
The National Healthy Start Association will spend the upcoming days sending letters of appreciation to our friends on Capitol Hill who supported our funding increase. If you know that your Senator or Member of Congress played a role in this achievement, please take a moment to send an email of appreciation to a staff member. In a few short months, we will be back on Capitol Hill asking for continued support to ensure that our programs are fully funded and our consumers receive the support that they deserve.
–Jon Terry, President, Capitol Youth Strategies LLC