Obama’s FY 2010 Budget Emphasizes Commitment to PEPFAR, Increases Resources for Domestic HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment
President Obama on Thursday released his $3.55 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2010, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. According to the Chronicle, the proposal emphasizes the commitment to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other global health programs (Coile, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/27).
According to the New York Times, the $51.7 billion allocated in the budget for the State Department and foreign assistance is "purposely vague" because the administration is working to "figure out its overseas spending priorities during an economic crisis at home," some experts said. Obama's proposal for the department and foreign assistance is an almost 10% increase over the FY 2009 budget of $47.2 billion, which the White House says places the U.S. "on a path to double foreign assistance," although the budget does not provide a timeframe. The Times reports that the Obama administration might be "rethinking" some international issues, such as global health. According to Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, this could include PEPFAR. According to Morrison, he expects the Obama administration will continue to provide antiretroviral drugs to those already receiving them from the U.S. "on ethical and moral grounds." However, he added that Obama might shift funding to other infectious diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, or other health issues such as family planning or clean water. Morrison added that promoting foreign aid in the U.S. could be difficult because of the current economic situation. "There's going to have to be a strong case made," he said, adding that "these investments have concrete, verifiable impacts on people's lives" (Gay Stolberg, New York Times, 2/27).
The AP/Google.com reports that Obama's budget proposal pledges to increase resources to domestic HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, although a specific amount was not included (AP/Google.com, 2/26). The budget also notes the increased resources for domestic HIV/AIDS efforts will have a particular focus on underserved populations (FY 2010 budget, 2/26).