Congress Approves Final Budget Deal, Includes AIDS Funding Increases
After a two-year session marred by "bitter but futile" fights over health care policy, Republicans and Democrats on Friday agreed to a $450 billion budget package, which included a $108.9 billion Labor-HHS appropriations bill "hung up" by months of "political jousting," and adjourned for the year, the Miami Herald reports. The House passed the budget deal 292-60, while the Senate approved the legislation by voice vote (Koszczuk, Miami Herald, 12/16). The agreement, which prevented a "shutdown of unfunded federal agencies," included $1.8 billion in Ryan White CARE Act funding -- an increase of $213 million over the previous year (Masterson, Houston Chronicle, 12/16). The measure also included a $164 million increase in funding for domestic and international HIV/AIDS prevention programs, and an estimated $2.2 billion increase for funding NIH-sponsored AIDS-related research. The 2001 budget also allocated $580 million for the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act, which provides one-time payments of $100,000 to HIV-positive hemophiliacs who were infected during the 1980s. In addition, the budget included $20.3 billion in NIH funding for medical research and clinical trials -- nearly double the $10.3 billion spent in 1993 (White House release, 12/15). There also is an $825 million boost for CDC programs (Miami Herald, 12/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.