Obama’s FY 2016 Budget To Help Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
On Monday, President Obama sent Congress a $4 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2016 that includes several health care provisions, the Wall Street Journal reports (Timiraos/Lee, Wall Street Journal, 2/2).
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
According to Modern Healthcare, the budget will include requests for $1.2 billion in funding for FY 2016 to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which would nearly double the current funding amount (Demko, Modern Healthcare, 1/30).
Specifically, the budget request will include:
- $650 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and NIH to bolster investments in developing antibacterial diagnostics and research (Cooney, Reuters, 1/27);
- More than $280 million for efforts led by CDC to cut down on overprescribing and track outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections (Dennis, Washington Post, 1/27);
- A $75 million and $85 million increase for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, respectively, to look into issues related to antibiotic resistance in health care settings;
- A nearly fourfold increase, to $77 million, in funding for USDA's research and surveillance on antibiotics; and
- $47 million for FDA's evaluation of new antibacterial prescription drugs (Reuters, 1/27).
Precision Medicine Initiative
In addition, the budget proposal will request $215 million in FY 2016 for a personalized medicine initiative, which was announced by Obama on Friday (Modern Healthcare, 1/30).
Of the $215 million in funding:
- $131 million would go toward NIH to recruit at least one million volunteers and analyze their full genetic makeups, as well as to expand clinical trials for possible cancer medications (Baker, National Journal, 1/30);
- $70 million would go toward NIH's National Cancer Institute to further study genetic causes of cancers and use study findings to assist with drug development;
- $10 million would go toward FDA to develop databases to help the agency create the regulatory structure for evaluating precision medicine advances; and
- $5 million would go toward the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to help develop interoperability standards and policies to address privacy issues and help with secure data exchange across various systems (White House fact sheet, 1/30).
In addition, the budget request will include proposals for Medicare payment system reform, according to Modern Healthcare. HHS last week announced it will seek to make 30% of Medicare payments for hospitals and physicians through alternate payment models like accountable care organizations and bundled payments by 2016, and 50% of payments through such models by the end of 2018 (Modern Healthcare, 1/30).
Further, the budget request is expected to include:
- $400 billion in health savings over 10 years from mandatory health spending programs, about the same amount of savings proposed in Obama's FY 2015 budget, mostly from improving the efficiency of care delivery via delivery system experiments under the Affordable Care Act;
- Funding to help states institute paid family leave policies;
- An overall 6% increase in research and development funding, including for the personalized medicine initiative (Politico, 2/2); and
- About a $70 billion overall discretionary spending increase, about a 7% increase over FY 2015, including reversing spending cuts under sequestration from which FDA and NIH have been shielded under a previous budget deal negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (Modern Healthcare, 1/30).
According to Politico, the GOP has come out against the overall budget proposal but could find some areas of common ground with the Obama administration (Nather, Politico, 2/2).
Meanwhile, Republicans are expected to soon begin drafting their own budget proposal, which will include proposals to overhaul federal health programs, according to the Washington Post (Mufson/O'Keefe, Washington Post, 2/2).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.