Monday, March 11, 2019— The release of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget outlines cuts to domestic spending, including the elimination of funding for nearly all of the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act). The Nursing Community Coalition (NCC), which includes 62 national nursing organizations, strongly opposes any reduction to Title VIII as these programs are vital resources that help meet the nation’s demand for nursing in all communities, including rural and underserved areas.
Under this budgetary proposal, the only Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Program to receive funding would be the NURSE Corps at $83 million. This devastating proposed cut to Title VIII programs would directly impact nursing education, recruitment, practice, and retention. With over four million licensed Registered Nurses (RNs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), and nursing students across the country, Title VIII is critical to providing quality care and safeguarding public health. By decimating funding for these programs, the pipeline of future nurses and the faculty who educate them will be at risk.
The President’s Budget includes a $5 billion proposed cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes a $23 million reduction in funding of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The NCC strongly opposes these cuts, especially to NINR, as nursing science transforms how care is delivered and directly impacts practice, changes lives, and promotes wellness. The steep decrease in both NIH and NINR funding creates an unwarranted barrier to new and existing research.
The Nursing Community Coalition commends the $92 million for Public Health Nursing under the Indian Health Service, which is a $6 million increase over FY 2019. The President’s FY 2020 Budget also includes a legislative proposal from the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to base beneficiary assignment in Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) on primary care providers other than physicians, such as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. HHS projects this would save the Medicare program $80 million over ten years. Also encouraging is the more than $80 billion dedicated to the health care of our nation’s veterans and consistent funding to address the opioid epidemic.
The Nursing Community Coalition will be working with Members of Congress to pass a budget that is sustainable and takes direct steps to spur scientific discovery and increase access to the care patients need and deserve.
The Nursing Community Coalition includes 62 national nursing organizations that are the cross section of education, practice, research, and regulation within the profession. With more than four million registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, nurse faculty, nurse executives, researchers, and students nationwide, the Nursing Community Coalition is committed to promoting efforts that advance the health of our nation through nursing care.