House bill threatens global health funding

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The House Appropriations Committee, led by Harold Rogers (R-KY), has proposed a bill that would set funding levels for fiscal year (FY) 2011— the current fiscal year ending September 30, 2011 —called a Continuing Resolution. It would cut total discretionary spending by $61 billion compared with FY2010 base levels and fall $100 billion below the president’s request for FY2011.  The bill is on the House floor with a final vote expected Thursday.

This bill, supported by the Republican leadership in the House, would devastate global health programs, reducing funding for these programs by 11 percent, according to the US Global Leadership Campaign.  The majority of the cuts would come from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Specific cuts include:

  • $363.3 million cut from PEPFAR programs 
  • $450 million cut from U.S. contribution to the Global Fund
  • $270.22 million cut from other global health accounts
  • $200 million cut in international family planning funds
  • $1 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health

The bill would also reinstate the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs domestically.

The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) released a timely report Wednesday outlining the impact of reducing global health funding to FY 2008 funding levels, including a projection of the “human cost.” The bill before the House is largely consistent with a reduction to 2008 levels for key global health programs.

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