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AARC Supports Funding for Key Government Agencies

March 19, 2009

Two essential federal agencies are being threatened by significant under-funding for their vital services, and the AARC is teaming up with fellow organizations to help.

As the gatekeeper of national data on health, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) conducts annual surveys aimed at learning more about everything from heart disease to pregnancy. At current funding levels, the agency fears it may have to undermine or forego some of its collection efforts, including those designed to gather information on smoking during pregnancy, health disparities, and home health and hospice care.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which supports research to improve health care quality, reduce costs, advance patient safety, decrease medical errors, and broaden access to essential services, also needs additional funds to ensure it can continue to fulfill its mission.

As a member of the Friends of NCHS and Friends of AHRQ coalitions, the AARC recently signed on to letters asking key members of Congress to increase funding for the agencies. Specifically, Friends of NCHS is requesting a funding level of at least $137.5 million for fiscal year 2010, with $15 million allocated for state efforts to modernize the vital statistics system.

Friends of AHRQ is seeking an increase of $32 million in fiscal year 2010.

You can read the letters here (AHRQ) and here (NCHS).

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