A spending bill that would give a 24% funding boost to HHS healthcare research, public health preparedness and workforce training programs cleared the House Appropriations Committee Thursday.
HHS would get $120 billion in the bill, a significant increase compared to the the budgets approved during President Donald Trump's administration. The funding measure still must pass the House and Senate.
Key items for providers:
- For the first time in 10 years, Congress is allowing earmarks, or funding requested by individual lawmakers for specific projects. The appropriations panel approved $367 million in earmarks to finance the construction and renovation of healthcare facilities and other related needs, including equipment. Some of the high-dollar projects that could be funded include $3.5 million for the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, for facilities and equipment, including telehealth infrastructure.
- The Bureau of Health Professions programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would get $1.6 million for workforce development, an increase of $341 million. Training for nurse practitioner fellowships at community health centers would get $15 million.
- Funding for HRSA's rural health programs would double to $400 million, including $79 million to help states support small and critical access rural hospitals
- The bill includes $75 million for medical student education, a $25 million increase.
- The Hospital Preparedness Program, which helps hospitals ready for emergencies, would receive $320 million, nearly $40 million more than this year's budget.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would get $49 billion, an increase of $6.5 billion. Almost half of that new funding is dedicated toward the creation of a new agency focused on accelerating scientific breakthroughs for diseases like ALS, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's, one of President Joe Biden's major initiatives. The bill also boosts funding or research into gun violence prevention, universal flu vaccines, health disparities, maternal health, HIV/AIDs, and the health impacts of climate change.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would get $10.6 billion, a $2.7 billion increase, including $1 billion in new money to bolster public health infrastructure and capacity.
- The Substance and Mental Health Services Administration would receive $9 billion, a $3 billion boost, for suicide prevention and for increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment.