Medical emergency professionals and public health advocates are expressing alarm over the proposed reductions in emergency preparedness funding outlined in the Obama administration's fiscal 2014 budget.
Funding for programs run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reduced by $270 million below fiscal 2012 levels. The budget would reduce biodefense and emergency preparedness funding by $48 million to $1.3 billion. It also limited spending on the Strategic National Stockpile of emergency medical supplies to $510 million, down $38 million from the earlier period.
Also cut in the proposed budget was $8 million from the agency's Public Health and Emergency Preparedness grants to states. The agency was allocated $666 million in fiscal 2012.
According to Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, a not-for-profit organization of public health professionals, such reductions make it more difficult for state and local government to maintain staffing levels, which in turn undermines the stability of the system throughout the country.