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House Panel Approves 2016 Health Spending Bill

June 2015

Today, the House Labor-Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), passed its Fiscal Year 2016 spending bill for health research and services, including funding for the NIH and CDC, on a party-line vote. Although numbers for individual CDC programs and NIH institutes have not yet been released, the bill provides the following funding levels for the NIH and CDC:

  • $31.2 billion for the NIH, an increase of $1.1. billion over FY2015 and $100 million over the President's proposed budget for FY2016
  • $7 billion for the CDC, a $140 million increase over FY2015 funding and the same level provided by the President's proposed budget

Although NIH and CDC fared relatively well, due to continued sequestration funding caps, the bill makes significant cuts in other health, education and labor areas. It would entirely eliminate funding for the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), which funds quality care initiatives, clinical practice guidelines and health services and comparative effectiveness research. The ATS has joined other health organizations in urging the House to restore AHRQ funding.

The bill also eliminates funding for Affordable Care Act implementation through a $344 million cut to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and a reduction of $299 million to the Health Resources and Services Administration. The House Labor-HHS package has drawn opposition from House Democrats due to these and other significant cuts to the Departments of Education and Labor. It is scheduled for a full House Appropriations Committee vote on June 24.

The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee is expected to vote on its FY2016 health spending bill on June 24. The final outcome of the bill is unclear due to growing demands for an overall FY2016 budget deal that replaces budget sequestration caps and provides more funding for spending bills.

Last Reviewed: October 2017