More than $1 billion in global health money at stake in Senate vote

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Even as we worry about global health funding levels for 2010, there’s more immediate trouble for this current fiscal year.

More than $1 billion in funding for global health programs is at stake, including money for HIV/AIDS and TB programs, as the Senate considers a massive (and massively late) spending bill for fiscal year 2009.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he’s not sure if he has the votes to pass the $410 billion measure. The bill has become a ripe GOP target because it’s larded with earmarks (never mind that many Republicans happily sponsored some of those pet projects.) Some Democrats, especially those up for re-election in two years, are also feeling jittery about the bill.

A Senate vote is imminent, so please contact your home-state senator and urge them to support the measure. If Congress doesn’t pass the bill this week, lawmakers may instead approve a stop-gap bill that funds all programs at 2008 levels.

This would be devastating.  Here are a few examples of what hangs in the balance:

*a $300 million increase for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

*a $7 million increase for USAID Infectious Diseases

*an extra $577 million for global health and child survival programs

*about $10 million for TB and $33 million for malaria

*$469 million for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative

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