HHS and other federal health programs will take big financial hits under President Donald Trump's first proposed budget released Thursday.
While Trump raised defense funding, the president suggested cutting the HHS budget by $12.6 billion, or 16.2%. That's the largest cut in dollars across the entire plan.
The so-called "skinny budget" is indeed skimpy, glossing over cuts to many sensitive programs such as community health centers, national parks and payments for rural schools, offering only a vague, two-page summary of most agencies, including the Pentagon, where the work of allocating its additional billions is still in progress.
Trump's proposed budget would pull $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health's nearly $32 billion budget, dropping its total to $25.9 billion. It's not clear what research on diseases or disorders would lose the most money, although the budget plan specifically calls for eliminating a division that focuses on global health.
"A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its No.1 priority — because without safety, there can be no prosperity," Trump said in a message accompanying his proposed budget that was titled America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.
The NIH budget has not kept pace with inflation, which has forced the agency to tighten its belt over the years and made it harder for scientists to score federal funding for their research on prospective new treatments or understanding diseases.
But not all health-related projects are losers in Trump's plan. The president's proposal boosts HHS spending on opioid prevention and treatment efforts by $500 million, and also provides funds to the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.
Some programs would tread water: WIC grants — money to states for healthcare and nutrition for low-income women, infants and children — are one example.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.