President Barack Obama has signed a $410 billion appropriations bill, a sizable chunk of which goes to a number of healthcare initiatives. The measure cleared the Senate on Tuesday.
The package, which funds a total of nine federal agencies, allots $30.3 billion to the National Institutes of Health for disease research, $6.6 billion for public health programs under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $125 million more for community health centers.
The legislation, which came under attack for the number of earmarks it contained, also sets out spending for a variety of workforce training programs, rural health outposts and programs to help seniors. The bill adds $15 million more than was available last year for nurse education and training, for a total of $171 million, and adds another $28 million to train doctors and other healthcare professionals, for a total of $222 million.
Rural health providers will also see a financial bump. The measure provides a total of $289 million to help aid the more than 1,200 small, rural hospitals serving more than 775,000 patients each year. The House passed the bill in February.