IDSA and HIVMA are urging members to contact Congress to support strong federal funding for ID and HIV programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. Congressional offices value the recommendations of constituents when determining spending priorities.
The president’s budget request for FY 2017, which was released on Feb. 9, would increase the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 2.5%--all of which would go to three programs: Cancer Moonshot, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the BRAIN Initiative. NIH institutes and centers not involved in the three initiatives would be level-funded. The proposal includes a 2.7% reduction in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Funding for domestic HIV/AIDS programs is largely sustained at current levels. Particularly concerning is proposed flat funding for HIV research at NIH for the third year in a row and for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which has been stagnant since 2010. Please see statements from the HIVMA
and the IDSA/HIVMA Center for Global Health Policy
for further details.
On a more positive note, the budget carries forward many of the increases provided in FY 2016 for IDSA priority areas such as antimicrobial resistance (AR). The president’s budget requests an increase of $43 million for antimicrobial resistance programs across the government (Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, and Veterans Administration), which would bring the total to approximately $1.1 billion. Most of the proposed increase, $40 million, would go to the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative to expand AR prevention programs in all 50 states, six large cities, and Puerto Rico. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is also slated for a small increase of $2 million for a total of $12 million in the president’s request for research on antibiotic stewardship practices. The president also proposes continuing the 2016 funding level for AR initiatives at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Food and Drug Administration.
Separately, the administration is seeking $1.8 billion
, primarily to the CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of State to address the Zika virus. A reluctant Congress is urging the administration to use funding leftover from the Ebola crisis to address Zika.
In the weeks ahead, Congress will hold hearings on the budget request with federal agency leaders and other stakeholders with the goal of advancing appropriations bills in the spring and summer. However, the FY 2017 appropriations process is challenged by a shortened congressional calendar. Congress will go into recess in mid-July for the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The recess period will continue on through August and much of the fall to allow for members of Congress to campaign ahead of the November elections.
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