April 15, 2011 | View Archive
FY11 Final Funding Approved
The six-month continuing resolution that averted a government shutdown passed in the House, 260-167 on Thursday afternoon, and in the Senate shortly after by 80-19. The bill will be signed by the President.
The final compromise legislation negotiated with the House of Representatives, H.R. 1473, contains significant spending reductions, but protects many critical programs in education and research. In total, the Continuing Resolution (CR) cuts $78.5 billion from the President's Fiscal Year 2011 request and is $38.5 billion below Fiscal Year 2010, including a 0.2 percent across-the-board (ATB) cut in domestic discretionary programs. It contains a full appropriations bill for Defense programs, with other programs covered by a continuing appropriations measure based on FY 2010 levels. Some notable highlights of the FY11 continuing resolution are as follows:
- Maintains the maximum $5,550 Pell Grant for the 2011-12 academic year. In contrast, H.R. 1 called for an $845 cut to the maximum grant, reducing it to $4,705.
- Calls for a permanent repeal of the year-round Pell Grant, beginning with the second scheduled award for the 2011-2012 academic year.
- Decreases the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) by $20 million plus the 0.2 percent ATB cut, reducing its funding to $736 million.
- Reduces TRIO by $25 million and GEAR UP by $20 million.
- Cuts the Javits Fellowship Program by $1.6 million plus the 0.2 percent ATB reduction, reducing its funding to $8.07 million.
- Trims the Federal Work-Study by the 0.2 percent across-the board reduction, reducing its budget to $978.5 million.
- Includes a provision that repeals Congressman Doggett's "Save Our Schools" amendment. Passed last year, the amendment required Texas to guarantee it will maintain state funding for education throughout 2013 in order to receive $830 million federal dollars intended for education funding. The CR provision will now grant Texas a sizable amount not previously accounted for during state budget discussions. The legislature can either use the funds to reduce the size of projected budget cuts to education or effectively redirect the funds to other budget purposes.
- Provides NIH with $30.7 billion in FY11, a cut of $260 million (0.8 percent) from the FY10 level. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research reports that $210 million would come from a pro rata reduction across the institutes, centers, and the Office of the Director, with another $50 million cut from the intramural buildings and facilities account. Adding in the ATB cut of 0.2 percent would raise the total NIH reduction to about $300 million (one percent).
- There are no policy references to the Cures Acceleration Network nor to the statutory mandates governing grant numbers or grant sized that were included in H.R. 1.
- The 1,100 of the Nation's community health centers will stay open, and none will receive a cut in services.
- Continues funding for the Poison Control Centers, almost all of which would have been eliminated under H.R. 1.
- Rejects the elimination of the $750 million Prevention and Public Health Fund that was proposed in HR 1. This mandatory funding was appropriated in the ACA.
- Funds Teen Pregnancy Prevention at $109 million, 96 percent of the FY10 level. HR 1 would have eliminated all $114 million.
- Provides $5.66 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a $730 million cut from the FY10 level. The final level is $681 million above the H.R.1 level.
Science and Energy
- The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science receives $4.9 billion in FY11, a cut of $46.1 million from current levels, but about $264 million below the President's FY11 request.
- The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) receives $180 million. This is $130 million above H.R. 1 and $180 million above the FY10 enacted level.
- Funds the National Science Foundation (NSF) at $6.9 billion, which is $307 million above H.R. 1 and $53 million below the FY10 enacted level.
- NASA Science Mission Directorate receives $4.945 billion in FY11, a significant cut of $448 million (10 percent) from the FY10 level of $4.497 billion. NASA Aeronautics receives $535 million, an increase of $38 million above the FY10 level of $497 million. Education programs at NASA are funded at $145 million, $35 million (19 percent) below the FY10 level of $180.1 million.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) operations and research is funded at $3.2 billion, which is $335 million above H.R. 1 and $119 million below the FY10 enacted level.
- Provides last year's funding level of $558.6 million for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Provides $670.8 billion in overall funding for defense, including $513 billion in base funding for the Defense Department, roughly $18 billion less than the president's FY 2011 request, but $5 billion (1%) more than the FY 2010 level.
- For FY11, overall 6.1 basic research is funded at approximately $1.95 billion, which is about a $130 million or seven-percent increase over FY10. The following is a breakout of 6.1 accounts by service:
- Army 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $403.3 million, $3.6 million below the FY11 request and $16.9 million below FY10.
- Navy 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $556.4 million, the same as the FY11 request and $12.5 million above FY10.
- Air Force 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $500.5 million, the same as the FY11 request, but $18.4 million below FY10.
- Defense Wide 6.1 basic research accounts would be funded at $486.9 million, $48.1 million below the FY11 request, but $109.8 million above FY10.
- For Defense-Wide 6.1 basic research, two accounts were not funded at the levels requested by the Pentagon. Defense Research Services would receive $295.7 million, which is $32.5 million less that the request, but about $100 million above the FY10 funding level of $194 million. The National Defense Education Program would receive $94.3 million, which is $15.6 million below the request, but $19 million above FY10.
- Cuts the NEH budget by $12.5 million from current funding of $167.5 million. This would preliminarily reduce funding for the Endowment to $155 million, the same level appropriated to the agency in FY09. Adding in the 0.2 percent ATB cut results in a final funding level of $154.7 million.
Obama Presents Deficit Reduction Plan
Amidst the flurry of activity surrounding the conclusion of the FY11 spending bill and start of the FY12 process, President Obama released his deficit reduction plan on Wednesday. The President's plan calls for a mix of spending reductions and tax hikes aimed at reducing the federal deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years.
Obama said the federal government "would continue to invest" in medical research, clean energy technology, education and infrastructure. The president also called for the creation of a "debt fail-safe" trigger that would impose automatic across-the-board spending cuts and tax changes in coming years if annual deficits are on track to exceed 2.8% of the nation's gross domestic product.
Obama's plan would save $340 billion over 10 years in Medicare and Medicaid and $480 billion by 2023. Those Medicare savings are largely achieved by giving an independent board, created in the health care law, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The 15-member IPAB is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. By 2015, the IPAB must cap Medicare spending at a rate of per capita gross domestic spending, plus one percent. The board can make changes to Medicare reimbursement without the approval of Congress, but is largely limited to meeting cost goals by cutting costs to providers. Senator Cornyn has proposed legislation to eliminate the IPAB. A similar bill has been filed in the House.
The Obama plan also calls for fixing the Medicare physician payment formula and reducing Medicare drug costs by using Medicare's purchasing power to negotiate discounts and increasing the availability of generics. On Medicaid, the proposal would limit states' use of provider taxes and would restructure the current federal matching formulas.
The President's plan trims up to $400 billion in defense spending by 2023. This is on top of Defense Secretary Robert Gates' pledge to shift $100 billion in defense spending to higher priority items while cutting $78 billion in spending over the next five years. Obama's defense cuts have met with strong opposition from Republicans.
Here is a link to the White House fact sheet: www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/13/fact-sheet-presidents-framework-shared-prosperity-and-shared-fiscal-resp
House Passes FY12 Budget Plan
Thursday's vote was the precursor to vote Friday in the House of Representatives on a budget blueprint by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan for the next fiscal year that will call for a change in the structures of the Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs, a measure almost certainly dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate. That fight, in turn, could be linked to the question of whether to approve an increase in the federal debt ceiling. For more information, please refer to last week's Washington Update for a breakdown of Chairman Ryan's budget proposal.
House Passes Partial Repeal of Health Reform
The House on Wednesday voted to terminate another piece of last year's health care law -- the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is currently scheduled to receive nearly $18 billion over the next few years. The bill, H.R. 1217, passed mostly along party line by a 236-183 vote.
The fund, originally approved in last year's health reform bill, was designed to be a grant program to support coordinated efforts to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, increase physical activity to prevent obesity and train public health workers in responding to infectious disease outbreaks. Opponents complained that the fund, administered by the HHS Secretary, was not subject to congressional approval or oversight. The Senate is not likely to approve the bill and the White House has already issued a veto threat.
New National Coordinator for Health IT Named
On April 8, 2011, Farzad Mostashari was named the new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Mostashari joined the ONC in 2009 and served as the Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy and Director of State and Community Programs. The ONC is responsible for implementing the adoption of health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position was created in 2004.
Previously, Mostashari served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Assistant Commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he facilitated the adoption of prevention-oriented health information technology by over 1,500 providers in underserved communities. Dr. Mostashari also led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care. Prior to this he established the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the NYC Department of Health, charged with providing epidemiologic and statistical expertise and data for decision making to the health department.
Mostashari did his graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School, internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service. He was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City, and among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide.
Health Legislation Introduced by Cornyn
Senator John Cornyn on Thursday introduced the Consumer Information Enhancement Act, which would create private-sector Consumer Information Organizations to develop reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of health providers.
Back to Top | View Archive