Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump budget seeks huge cuts to disease prevention and medical research departments

By Joel Achenbach and Lena H. Sun May 22, 2017

resident Trump's 2018 budget request to Congress seeks massive cuts in spending on health programs, including medical research, disease prevention programs and health insurance for children of the working poor.

The National Cancer Institute would be hit with a $1 billion cut compared to its 2017 budget. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute would see a $575 million cut, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases would see a reduction of $838 million. The administration would cut the overall National Institutes of Health budget from $31.8 billion to $26 billion.


Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would be slashed by at least 20 percent for the next two fiscal years. According to the budget document, the administrator favors a renewal of CHIP, a program created 20 years ago for the children of lower-working class families and which currently insures 5.6 million children.


The president's budget seeks an $82 million cut at the center that works on vaccine-preventable and respiratory diseases, such as influenza and measles. It proposes a cut of $186 million from programs at CDC’s center on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis prevention. One of the biggest cuts, $222 million, is to the agency’s chronic disease prevention programs, which are designed to help people prevent diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and obesity.


The agency’s center on birth defects and developmental disabilities also gets a 26 percent cut to its budget at a time when researchers have yet to understand the full consequences of Zika infections in pregnant women and their babies.

The budget calls for a 17 percent cut to CDC’s global health programs that monitor and respond to disease outbreaks around the world. It also cuts about 10 percent from CDC’s office of public health preparedness and response.

The budget document highlights $35 million that the CDC spends on childhood lead poisoning prevention. But the overall spending on environmental health would under Trump's plan be cut by $60 million, down to $157 million, according the document.


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