CORRECTION: The original version of this report misstated the relationship between President Obama's budget request for the NIH last year and its final appropriation. It was funded at a lower level than requested.
Medical research would get about the same funding as last year under President Obama's 2013 budget proposal released on Monday. But the Food and Drug Administration, tasked with taking on new food-safety responsibilities and about to receive increased fees from industry, will get a boost, while public health funds get cut.
The president requested $31 billion for the National Institutes of Health, same as last year's appropriation.
The budget steers some NIH funds to new areas. It emphasizes a program designed to share research that applies across disciplines, called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. As the White House announced earlier this month, it is undertaking a major initiative to expand research into Alzheimer’s disease.
The FDA gets $654 million more than last year under the president’s plan. But not much of that will come from general funds. Congress is expected to pass new user fee agreements with the drug and device-makers the agency regulates, which will bring more money to the FDA without the need for taxpayer dollars. The president would add $10 million over last year's appropriation for improved monitoring of food and drugs imported from overseas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's budget will be cut by $664 million. The president suggests combining several siloed chronic-disease programs, each with its own funding, into one general chronic disease fund. He has proposed the same thing before and gotten nowhere, because disease groups and members of Congress alike prefer specific budget lines to track funding for particular projects.
The proposal would eliminate the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant program, saying that a consolidated chronic-disease center and funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund established under the 2010 health care law are more effective means for funding preventive health measures.
Want to stay ahead of the curve? Sign up for National Journal’s AM & PM Must Reads. News and analysis to ensure you don’t miss a thing.