The fiscal year 2011 budget process got underway today when President Obama sent Congress his budget proposal. The President’s $3.8 trillion budget includes a three-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending in order to save about $250 billion over 10 years and start narrowing the $1.6 trillion gap between proposed budget outlays and tax receipts. The freeze caps the overall level of spending so that some programs get increases (for example, cancer research at NIH and NCI receives a funding increase), while other programs (including some of the cancer control programs at the CDC) are cut. The freeze comes on top of a proposal to eliminate, or scale back, 120 programs in order to save more than $20 billion.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued the following statement of support,
“[u]nder this budget, we will provide the health and human services that Americans depend on more effectively, slashing waste and focusing programs on results. And we’ll make many of the necessary investments our country has been putting off for years, including investments in fighting health care fraud, strengthening our public health infrastructure, and getting serious about health and wellness,” said Sebelius. “This budget is a big step toward a healthier, stronger America.”
The President’s budget includes $32.09 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The proposed funding level for NIH would be an increase of $1 billion (3.2 percent) over last year to support innovative projects from basic to clinical research. The increase in funding for the NIH will allow the agency to initiate 30 new drug trials in 2011, and double the number of novel compounds in Phase 1 – 3 clinical trials by 2016. In addition, FY 2011 funding will support the completion of a comprehensive catalog of cancer mutations for the 20 most common malignancies, setting the stage for complete genomic characterization of every cancer as part of medical care within 10 years.
The NIH budget includes:
- $5.26 billion for the National Cancer Institute – an increase of $161 million (3.16 percent); and
- $219 million for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities – a $7 million increase (3.5 percent).
The President’s FY 2011 budget proposal also provides $2.5 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – an increase of $148 million (6.26 percent) over last year. The funding increases for the FDA include increases to bring more lower cost generic drugs and generic biologics to market as well as funding to expand post-market safety surveillance of medical products, and to support FDA’s efforts to make safety data more comprehensive and accessible to patients, providers, and scientists.
That is the good news.
The bad news is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget. The President’s FY 2011 budget proposal reduces funding for CDC cancer prevention and control programs, including the Office of Smoking and Health, by $19 million (3.9 percent) below last year’s funded level. Specifically, the National Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program is cut by $4 million (2 percent) and the Office of Smoking and Health is cut by more than $3 million (3.2 percent).
The CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Screening, Education & Outreach program is funded at $45 million. This is the same level the program was funded at for fiscal year 2010.
Two CDC cancer control programs are eliminated under the President’s budget. The Geraldine Ferraro Blood Cancer Program, which received $4.7 million in FY 2010, and the Gynecologic Cancer and Education and Awareness (Johanna’s Law) Program, which received $6.8 million in FY 2010, are zeroed out under the President’s FY 2011 budget proposal.