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Graphic: HHS Discretionary Spending In President’s Proposed 2011 Budget


Christopher Weaver

KHN Staff Writer
FEB 02, 2010

The lion’s share – by far – of the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget is consumed by Medicare and Medicaid, the towering entitlement programs that cover health care for the elderly/disabled and low-income, respectively. Together, and with additional smaller mandatory spending programs, they make up a whopping $818 billion of the government’s $911 billion health bill for 2011.

View Interactive Graphic

Graphic: HHS Discretionary Spending In President's Proposed 2011 Budget

The rest – $81.2 billion – will go to discretionary spending in President Obama’s proposal for the 2011 HHS budget. As usual, the biggest chuck will pay for research at the National Institutes of Health. (The Administration for Children and Families, which runs the welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, also soaks up a big portion of the budget.)

Among the discretionary spenders, three agencies win bigger-than-normal increases. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) would increase from $397 million this year to $611 million to – among other things – continue pursuing comparative effectiveness research. The administration’s top e-health official’s budget would be hoisted from $103 million this year to $156 million. And, HHS spending on curbing health care fraud will soar from $311 million to $561 million next year.

“Losers” include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which face a modest cut of 1.93 percent compared with this year.

These numbers reflect budget authority, not the actual spending outlays, which may be higher. The budgets for AHRQ and the e-health do include outlays because the administration has included those amounts in its own review of agency budgets, and because AHRQ’s only funding for 2011 comes in the form of outlays. (See the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget summary.)

The president’s proposal won’t make it into law as written. He’ll send it to lawmakers to give them a starting point, but a very different plan will likely emerge from the labyrinth of Congress. KHN will be tracking the changes, so check back for updates.

To view the interactive graphic, click on the link that says “Click To Interact.” (Please note: you may need to download Sun’s Java Plugin to see the visualizations.)

(Graphic: Beth Liu, KHN)

Data Set:

Agency/Program  2011
(in millions)
(in millions)
 National Institutes of Health   32,089 31,089
 Administration for Children and Families  17,480 17,336
 Health Resources and Services Administration  7,511 7483
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  6,342 6,467
 Indian Health Service  4,406 4,052
 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  3,601 3,415
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  3,541 3,432
 Food and Drug Administration  2,508 2,362
 Administration on Aging  1,625 1,513
 Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund  734 1,347
 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  611 397
 Discretionary Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control  561 311
 General Departmental Management  544 500
 Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)  156 103
 Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals  78 71
 Office of Inspector General 52 50
 Office of Civil Rights 44 41
 Other 37 36
 TOTAL (including AHRQ and ONC outlays): 81,920

Source: HHS Office of Budget