Bush Will Ask for Boost in Health Research Funding
Seeking "the largest-ever" increase in federal health research funding, President Bush announced on Friday plans to ask Congress to raise National Institutes of Health spending by $2.8 billion next year. The Washington Times reports that the announcement was a "down payment on a pledge" Bush made during the presidential campaign to "boost spending on health research" and to "revive" a "war on cancer" declared by the Nixon administration in 1971. In a September speech, Bush said he would raise the NIH budget -- already more than $20 billion annually -- to "at least $27.3 billion" and maintain that budget through 2010. He also pledged to double the budget of the National Cancer Institute to more than $5 billion per year by 2003. The total cost of the health care proposal Bush laid out during his campaign is approximately $67 billion above "current projected spending over 10 years," $12 billion of which will be devoted specifically to cancer research. "We recognize the federal government plays a very important role in researching cures for disease," Bush said at a White House meeting with his budget advisers. He is expected to detail his budget proposal for fiscal year 2002 in an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday (Scully, Washington Times, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.