HHS awards $137M to states, cities

The Health and Human Services Department awarded another $137 million in public health grants Thursday, most of it from a fund created by the healthcare reform law.

The grants will support state and local public health efforts, such as smoking-cessation and immunization programs. More than half the money is for programs that promote screenings and early preventive treatments.

The healthcare reform law created a prevention and public health trust fund, which congressional Republicans have repeatedly sought to tap as an offset for unrelated new spending. That fund will cover the bulk of the grants announced Thursday, HHS said in a news release.