A key House panel is calling for increased spending in fiscal 1997 in legislation funding both HHS and the Department of Veterans Affairs, but healthcare programs are not expected to see big increases.
The House Appropriations Committee's proposed allocation for the HHS spending bill calls for $604 million more in discretionary funding in fiscal 1997 than in fiscal 1996, reaching $69.4 billion, an increase of less than 1%.
Discretionary HHS spending includes many medical research and training programs, health centers, as well as Medicare intermediary reimbursement and the inspector general's office.
The committee's proposed allocation for the VA's spending bill calls for a $3.6 billion increase over 1996, to $77.9 billion, a 4.9% boost.
Discretionary VA spending includes the budget for the department's 173-hospital healthcare system.
But because both VA and HHS appropriations are rolled into bills that encompass numerous other federal agencies, it was not clear how much of that increase either department would receive.