Health And Human Services Would Get Boost Under Obama's 2011 Budget Plan

News outlets report on how Health and Human Services fares under Obama's 2011 budget request.

This year's budget does not include the $634 billion "down payment" on universal coverage from last year's budget, The Washington Post reports. But "administration sources said the overall federal budget assumes a bill will be enacted and result in deficit reduction of $150 billion over the next decade. The budget for the Department of Health and Human Services envisions a few minor changes: a $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health... and an additional $290 million for community health centers." In addition, states would receive "an additional $25 billion to extend by six months increases enacted in last year's economic recovery act. Medicare would rise to $489 billion after recouping an anticipated $722 million in waste, fraud and abuse" (Connolly, 2/1).

The Wall Street Journal: "Budget documents released by the White House estimate that in 2011 alone the costs of [the health reform] legislation will total $16 billion and the cost will rapidly increase each year until 2020. The budget states that the figures come from the Congressional Budget Office's estimates of House and Senate-passed version of the bills." Other health care policy initiatives advanced by the administration, such as "health information technology and comparative effectiveness research, would see increased funding under the Department of Health and Human Services $81.3 billion budget." The budget also proposes $561 million to curb health-care fraud and abuse (Yoest, 2/1).

CQPolitics: "While Obama announced last week he would freeze discretionary spending for many domestic agencies, HHS is clearly an exception. The budget shows that the administration considers the agency's health and welfare programs vital for a nation still struggling with unemployment rates in excess of 10 percent. The HHS discretionary budget would increase by $1.7 billion, to $81.3 billion in 2011" (2/1).

Bloomberg: The President's budget "proposed increasing the National Institutes of Health budget by $1 billion, or 3.2 percent, in fiscal 2011, earmarking $6 billion for cancer research and $222 million for work in autism." The proposed increase, though, in the budget beginning Oct. 1 actually falls short of the $36 billion NIH could spend in fiscal 2010 "because of money from the government’s economic stimulus effort" (Wechsler, 2/1).

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