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December 2014
Policy and Advocacy
Fiscal Year 2015 Brings Stagnant Funding for ID, HIV
Details of a final House and Senate appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2015 were released earlier this month showing a spending agreement that largely flat-funds federal agencies of interest to the infectious diseases community. The final package sent to President Obama will include:
  • National Institutes of Health funding increased by $150 million (0.5%) to $30.08 billion, including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases level-funded at $4.36 million.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding went up $22 million (0.3%) to $6.93 billion, including an Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (EZID) increase of $15 million (3.8%) to $405 million, and flat funding at $18 million for the National Healthcare Safety Network. HIV prevention is funded at $787 million,  a slight decrease from 2014.  Funding for Hepatitis Prevention at the CDC remains flat at approximately $31 million, and funding for domestic tuberculosis activities, including the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium remains at $142 million.
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/HIV/AIDS Bureau Ryan White Program is flat funded at the same levels provided in FY 2014 across all of the Parts.
  • Food and Drug Administration funding increased by $22 million (1.1%) to $2.59 billion.
  • Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority funding held flat at $415 million.
  • In a win on the global health front, the bill increases or maintains almost all areas of global health spending for fiscal year 2015. This includes a $300 million increase for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), restoring half of the $600 million in cuts the PEPFAR program has seen since 2011. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is fully funded at $1.35 billion. USAID’s global tuberculosis program is funded at $236 million, the same level as FY 14 but a significant increase over the President’s requested $192 million.
One notable exclusion in the bill was funding for the new CDC Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative.  The CDC proposal was pushed by many stakeholder groups and fully supported at $30 million by the Senate Subcommittee on Labor-HHS Appropriations over the summer.  However, the final bill failed to fund the new program.

Unfortunately, the bill also continues the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs and continues support for prevention focused on abstinence-only until marriage programs.   

The omnibus spending bill did include some bright spots such as $5.4 billion of President Obama’s $6.2 billion emergency supplemental spending request to support preparedness and response efforts for Ebola and future outbreaks. The bill also continues support for the CDC Advanced Molecular Detection & Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks program, now in its second year. Appropriators reversed a decision by the administration to cut nearly 10% from the Section 317 Immunizations program, opting instead to provide the full FY 2014 level of $611 million. These line-items were also pushed by health and public health groups and their grassroots advocates.

The health and public health advocacy communities now look towards the FY 2016 appropriations process, which will begin with the release of the President’s Budget Request, likely in early February. President Obama is expected to call on Congress to provide significant new funding for his national strategy to combat antibiotic resistance. The advocacy efforts of stakeholder groups – including IDSA and HIVMA – will continue to play a pivotal role in bolstering federal efforts on antibiotic resistance and the many other important ID and HIV policy issues.  

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