The House Appropriations Committee has introduced a final fiscal 2012 appropriations package that would avert a government shutdown and contains $69.7 billion for HHS, which is about $700 million less than this year's level and $3.4 billion below President Barack Obama's budget request.
Funding package offers less for HHS
House members are expected to vote this week on three bills that make up the full legislative package, which includes a bill that contains fiscal 2012 funding for federal agencies under the remaining nine appropriations bills (including HHS), a bill that provides funding for disaster aid and recovery assistance, and a bill that includes ways to pay for the disaster funding.
In that first bill, HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration would see its funding drop from last year's level, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would get a boost. The legislation contains $6.5 billion in funding for HRSA in 2012, about $41 million less than the agency had in 2011, while the Atlanta-based CDC would see an increase of about $38 million to a program level of $6.1 billion. According to a summary of the bill (PDF), the CDC funding provides $80 million for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, a program that both the president and the Senate had proposed eliminating.
Meanwhile, the bill provides $3.9 billion for CMS Program Management, reflecting an increase of $241 million from last year's level—but still $517 million below what the president had requested. “Since 2000, the number of CMS beneficiaries (those receiving Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program benefits) has increased by 51%—partially due to an aging U.S. population. The bill attempts to keep pace with the increase in beneficiaries to ensure those who rely on these important programs get the benefits they need,” the summary noted.
The National Institutes of Health would also see an increase from last year, as the bill calls for $30.7 billion for 2012, reflecting $299 million above last year's level, but $758 million below the president's request.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.