What are appropriations?

Congress annually makes decisions regarding how the federal government should spend its discretionary funds. These decisions – which are called appropriations – affect how money is allocated to various programs. Some examples of programs include national defense, food safety, and education. CCHA is most concerned about federal funding for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program and the National Institutes of Health.

Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Program (CHGME)

The Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program funds independent children’s teaching hospitals to support the training of pediatricians. This program is funded through the congressional appropriations process.

Data source: Children’s Hospital Association

Although the program has received bipartisan support every year, funding has dropped considerably by 17% from $317.5 million in FY 2010 to $265 million in FY 2015. The California Children’s Hospital Association urges Congress to provide $300 million for FY 2016 for the following reasons:

  • Increase in the children’s demographic
  • Shortage of pediatric specialists

Increasing the budget from appropriations will reduce access-to-care issues and improve pediatric care quality in the United States. For more information, please click here.

National Institutes of Health

In FY 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive $31.3 billion in appropriations, which is $1 billion more than it received for FY 2015.

The NIH will use at least $12.6 million to support the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, which promotes research for children’s health. In particular, the NIH is encouraged to prioritize pediatric cancer research within the Kids First program in FY 2016.

In addition, a significant portion of the funds will go to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The NICHD plans to launch a research initiative to reduce preterm birth and improve care for premature babies.