A Senate Appropriations Subcommittee this week set funding levels for the Department of Health and Human Services for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
The HHS funding bill has often been the venue for partisan fights. This week’s action sets the stage for the first Senate floor vote on the HHS spending bill in years. The bill is the result of bipartisan negotiations between Washington Sen. Patty Murray — the panel’s senior Democrat — and subcommittee chair Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). It is scheduled for full Appropriations Committee action on Thursday.
The bill includes several significant funding increases, including a boost of about $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, according to a committee summary. The budget for opioid abuse programs would grow by about 93 percent compared to last year, and nearly 500 percent from two years ago. It also includes a small increase in funding for rural programs. (John Flink)