The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations recently released a draft fiscal year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill that would include a $1.25 billion increase for the NIH next year.
The proposed budget also assigns $1.9 billion for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) – slightly less than the $2.12 billion the agency received this year.
“This bill funds critical programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future, and help prepare the next generation to be part of a productive workforce to grow our economy and provide for their families,” Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rodney P. Frelinghuysen said in a press release. “This includes investments in vital research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, job training, college preparation and special education programs, and protections against health threats such as pandemics and bio-threats.”
It is the fourth consecutive year the NIH has seen an increase in funds, setting the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget at $38.3 billion.
“These funds will greatly benefit numerous medical research programs, combat opioid abuse and support the search for cures for many cancers and diseases. Additionally, the bill includes increases for important education programs like TRIO, career and technical education, and early childhood education initiatives. Provisions related to the protection of human life are continued in this year’s bill as well. This bill is one that supports and benefits all Americans,” Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said in the release.
The proposed budget also calls for a $1 billion increase for the HHS, giving that department a total of $89.2 billion. CMS would receive $3.5 billion for administrative expenses, which is $168 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $42 million below the fiscal year 2019 request. The CDC would receive $7.6 billion under the proposed spending bill - $663 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
Other funding proposals include:
$902,746 for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion initiative, which will focus the financial resources on fighting obesity;
$6.1 billion for the National Cancer Institute;
$3.4 billion for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and
$276.2 billion to cover Medicaid grants to states.
The bill includes $300 million to establish an Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund to allow the HHS Secretary to quickly respond to a pandemic, as well as funding for initiatives proposed in the president’s budget to continue efforts to track children and families affected by the Zika virus and to address infectious disease in high-risk areas, especially those disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis.