Obama's budget cuts discretionary spending at healthcare agencies

President Barack Obama unveiled a budget that will unevenly impact the variety of healthcare agencies operating via the federal government, the New York Times reports.

Obama's $3.7 trillion budget for fiscal 2012 includes modest increases for regulatory and research-oriented agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes for Health, but discretionary spending is under tighter control.

The CDC would receive about $400 million more than the $10.8 billion budgeted in the current fiscal year, but receive cuts in its discretionary budget. The FDA would receive almost an additional $1 billion for implementing stricter oversight of the nation's food and medical supplies. Much of that increase would come from new fees imposed on food processors to pay for enhanced inspections.
The NIH would receive an additional $900 million to help spur more research and innovation in the biomedical realm. The agency expects to have a new research center operational later this year, according to NIH Director Frances S. Collins.

By contrast, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would receive $1.3 billion less to implement healthcare reform and other discretionary programs than in the current fiscal year.

For more:
- read the New York Times article
- read the Healthwatch article

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