Robbing Peter to pay Paul…
April 13, 2013
April 13, 2013
Okay Network faithful, another important component of the Affordable Care Act you need to commit to memory because it will increasingly come into play is the Prevention and Public Health Fund. You may be wondering what has gotten under Senator Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) skin about this if you have been watching the news the past few days. In the President’s budget, payment for the Marketplace Navigator Grants is coming from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. As Senator Harkin stated the other day, “It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
For the Children’s Mental Health Network, understanding the global context of how health care reform is unveiling itself is critical as we expect mental health to be integrated into public health in the near future. Given that health care reform is fully embracing a public health model, what looks good on paper in Washington needs to be good for youth and families with mental health challenges at the local level. And if we continue to chip away at the Prevention and Public Health fund to pay for other good ideas, and the health fund is designed to shore up existing public health operations (including mental health) that will be weakened if we keep digging into the fund to pay for things like Navigators, who are so important to ensuring individuals and families get what they need from a health system that… oh wait a minute… may be crumbling because we are robbing the fund set up to support it… Dang, no wonder people throw up their hands when they try to decipher all of this. Yes, an English teacher’s worst nightmare run-on sentence was intentional.
So take a bromo and consider it this way:
The new funding opportunity provides up to $54 million in total funding and applications are due by June 7, 2013. The funding opportunity announcement is open to eligible self-employed individuals and private and public entities applying to serve as Navigators in states with a Federally-facilitated or State Partnership Marketplace. Read the details here.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund has been chipped away at by both Republicans and Democrats. President Barack Obama has repeatedly endorsed cutting the Fund budget as a means to reduce the deficit, while Republicans have voted to repeal it or failing that, use the money for other purposes.
Here is what Senator Harkin had to say about all of this the other day: