Budget 2012: Health and Human Services
The first sentence of the "funding highlights" in the White House budget document says that the $79.9 billion the president is requesting for Health and Human Services would be "slightly above the 2010 funding level."
In fact, as the agency's budget figures show, the proposal would decrease HHS's discretionary funding -- the portion Congress allots each year -- by $72 million, or 0.9 percent, from fiscal 2010.
The spending plan for HHS includes $465 million to help carry out the sprawling law Congress adopted last year to overhaul the nation's health care system. It also contains $300 million to implement a recent law providing health care to people harmed in the Sept.11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
The budget goes a fraction of the way toward fulfilling President Obama's promise to stave off cuts in payments to doctors for treating older Americans through Medicare for 10 years. The reductions were part of a 1997 law That delay is forecast to cost a total of $370 billion. The budget proposes enough money to cover the first two years, starting with $18.6 billion for 2012.
Some parts of HHS would be trimmed overall but would selectively receive extra money. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be cut by nearly $600 million but would get new funds to expand its efforts to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus and other infectious diseases and to promote immunization.
The budget would kill or pare down more than two dozen programs across the vast agency. One of the largest cuts would halve spending on the Community Services Block Grant program and reduce by nearly half the funding to help low-income people heat their homes.
In some instances, the cuts the administration is recommending for fiscal 2012 overlap with programs that the new House Republican majority has targeted for fiscal 2011 -- the current year -- although the GOP is proposing a wider range of reductions.
| February 14, 2011; 4:46 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency, Barack Obama, Health Care, Health Care, Republican Party, The Agencies, The Budget, White House
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