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AOA statement on Congressional health care spending agreement

By AOA Media Team


CHICAGO—December 19, 2019—The American Osteopathic Association commends Congressional leaders on their work to achieve a bipartisan agreement on an annual appropriations and other public health legislation. The package includes funding for crucial public health programs and addresses several important public health issues.

Funding is now secured through fiscal year 2020 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This includes funding increases for CDC chronic disease prevention and control programs, SAMHSA state opioid response grants, and HRSA health professional workforce programs including funding to reduce maternal mortality.

“This deal is a win for the osteopathic tenets of whole-person health and preventive medicine,” said Ronald Burns, DO, FACOFP, American Osteopathic Association president. “We are encouraged to see several important issues taking priority in this package.”

Public health program highlights

The deal provides funding for HRSA’s Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program, which will help develop healthcare professionals dedicated to addressing the nation’s opioid addiction crisis. The package also designates $25 million for the CDC and NIH to conduct research on firearms injury and mortality prevention.

The bill has several significant non-spending provisions, including raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. It also permanently repeals a medical device tax and a tax on high-end health insurance plans, known as the “Cadillac Tax.”

The American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents nearly 145,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit