C.D.C. Funding Would Increase Under Biden's Spending Plan

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C.D.C. Funding Would Increase Under Biden's Spending Plan

President Biden’s spending plan calls for an almost 25 percent increase in discretionary funding — to $131.7 billion — for the Health and Human Ser

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President Biden’s spending plan calls for an almost 25 percent increase in discretionary funding — to $131.7 billion — for the Health and Human Services Department, the hub of the federal government’s pandemic response.

That increase includes a $1.6 billion increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency public health experts have viewed as chronically underfunded and neglected until public health emergencies. Data collection would be modernized, and epidemiologists would be trained to support local health departments.

Almost a billion dollars would go to the Strategic National Stockpile, the country’s emergency medical reserve, for supplies and efforts to restructure it that began last year.

The blueprint also calls for $6.5 billion to launch the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health — part of a requested $51 billion for the typically well-funded National Institutes of Health. The new agency would fund federal research, with a focus on cancer and diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Outside of pandemic response, the White House wants to expand spending in several areas that were also budget priorities for the Trump administration: fighting the opioid epidemic and eradicating H.I.V. and AIDS. But on other matters, it diverges clearly from Trump administration policies.

The Biden plan would expand spending on the Title X program that provides family planning services to low-income Americans — under Mr. Trump, that program was retooled to reduce the number of eligible providers. The proposal would also double spending on research into the causes of gun-related death and injury, an area long neglected because of political polarization.

But most health spending in the country is not discretionary, meaning the proposals do not tell us what the Biden administration hopes to do in Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, among other large programs. The American Rescue Plan included some short-term funding to expand Affordable Care Act subsidies that help Americans buy insurance, and the administration has signaled it hopes to make those changes permanent.

So far, Mr. Biden has been quiet about whether he will pursue other health initiatives that were part of his campaign, such as lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare or establishing a government-run alternative for private health insurance, known as a public option, for Obamacare users.

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