- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2008


Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt yesterday said the fiscal 2009 budget for his agency is $737 billion, an increase of $29 billion over 2008.

The increase is partly due to higher mandatory spending on health care, particularly Medicare, the health care program for seniors. The fiscal 2009 budget proposes saving $183 billion in the next few years by slowing the growth of Medicare. For fiscal 2009, Medicare is projected to increase by $29 billion, to $426 billion.

The proposed budget for Medicaid, the health care program for low-income families, seniors and disabled persons, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is $224 billion. The White House seeks reauthorization of the SCHIP through 2013, increasing funding over time by $20 billion and targeting SCHIP funds to those most in need. In addition, $450 million is proposed for outreach grants to enroll uninsured poor children in Medicaid or SCHIP.

The HHS budget also includes $4.4 billion to protect the nation against a bioterrorism attack or other public health emergency.

Other budget highlights include:

  • $29.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health.
  • $13.2 billion for the Administration for Children and Families, which has oversight over welfare, foster care and child support programs.
  • $5.7 billion for Health Resources and Services Administration.
  • $5.6 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • $3.3 billion for Indian Health Service.
  • $3 billion for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, including $662 million to protect the food supply.

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