The Senate committee that oversees
federal spending has approved a bill for health programs that would bring good
news and bad news for ID.
The committee recommended a Fiscal Year
2017 increase of $2 billion (+6.2% over FY 2016) for the National Institutes of
Health (NIH) and a decrease of $118 million (-1.6% from FY 2016) for the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The committee recommended a slight
increase of $43 million for antimicrobial resistance programs, which is a
positive development for implementation of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria,
building on a $380 million increase provided last year and bringing the total
federal expenditure in this area to nearly $1 billion.
The bill largely flat funds programs in
the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention as well
as in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. However, the bill recommends cuts to CDC
sexually transmitted infections programs as well as tuberculosis efforts of
3.2% and 3.5% respectively.
The committee’s bill also included a
provision, supported by the advocacy of nearly 500 IDSA members, which would
examine the evaluation and management billing codes used to reimburse
physicians through Medicare to make certain that proper value is assigned.
The House of Representatives is
expected to produce its version of a health spending bill before the chamber
recesses for the summer in mid-July. IDSA will continue its advocacy in the
House to secure robust funding for infectious diseases programs.
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