FY 2019 Spending Law Includes Funding for Vision and Eye Health


President Trump has signed into law the FY2019 appropriations bill

The appropriations bill directs spending and provides funding for the programs and agencies within the Departments of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is the first time since 1996 that the federal government has been fully funded at the start of the federal fiscal year on October 1.

The legislation includes an overall increase to the CDC of $126.5 million, including $1 million for the Vision Health Initiative and $4 million for the Glaucoma Project. The HRSA received an increase of $106.75 million, which includes a $40 million increase to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and $26 million to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. In other Prevent Blindness advocacy wins, the bill also allocates $10 million for surveillance of long-term outcomes to mothers and babies affected by Zika and the CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, which was proposed to be eliminated by the Administration, received a $5 million increase over FY2018 levels and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) received an increase of $4 million over FY2018 levels. The National Institutes of Health received an overall $2 billion increase of which the National Eye Institute will be funded at $796.5 million. Prevent Blindness commends the House and Senate for their bipartisanship in passing this legislation ahead of the incoming fiscal year, and for restoring “regular order” to the federal appropriations process.

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