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Senator Appropriators Explore Administration’s FY 2015 HHS Budget Request

May 9, 2014—The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee held a May 7 hearing to discuss the administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Witnesses included Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Chief Operating Officer Tim Love; and Administration for Children and Families Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg, Esq.

In her opening remarks Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) discussed her commitment to complete all 12 annual spending bills before the start of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2014; a feat, she noted, that has not been achieved since FY 1996.

During the hearing, appropriators expressed concern about the lack of funding for various agencies, including the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the impending funding “cliff” within HHS due to the expiration of funding for HRSA’s Community Health Centers (CHC) and National Health Service Corps (NHSC) programs, as well as the need to provide additional funding to care for the increasing number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States.

While the HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was not present to testify, Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) posed several questions he would ask her, including how HHS “justifies taking money away from NIH” through the Public Health Service (PHS) evaluation tap to fund programs “that should receive independent budget authority.” He also asked if conversations take place about which agencies are tapped and which agencies receive funding.

Senator Moran also expressed concern that the FY 2015 request did not include an increase for Alzheimer’s research at NIH and asked whether or not NIH could reach its stated goal of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2025 without an increase.


Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806