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Daily Report Global Health Conversations: Global Health Funding And The FY11, FY12 Budgets

As Congress considers both the FY11 and FY12 budgets, the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report’s Jaclyn Schiff spoke to Adam Wexler, a senior policy analyst for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, about the potential implications for global health funding.

“Funding for U.S. global health programs is one of the few areas of the federal budget that demonstrates an increase. A lot of the other areas declined,” Wexler said of President Barack Obama’s FY12 budget proposal. Among the elements of the president’s FY12 budget for the Global Health Initiative (GHI), the largest dollar amount gains, when compared to FY10 spending, were in the areas of maternal and child health (up close to $400 million) and the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (up $250 million), according to Wexler. Obama proposed increasing funding for global nutrition by 100 percent – the largest percentage increase among GHI programs. Funding for pandemic influenza declined, which could be the result of decreased concern over H1N1 (swine) and H5N1 (avian) influenzas.

He also highlighted the major global health budget cuts proposed in the House’s FY11 budget bill. The measure reduces global HIV/AIDS spending by $363 million as well as the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund by more than 40 percent or $450 million. It cuts funding for family planning and reproductive health by more than $200 million and re-instates the Mexico City policy, which bans federal funding for groups that provide or promote abortions overseas. The bill also proposes a combined reduction of about $300 million from unspecified global health programs administered by USAID and CDC, he said.

Wexler explained that even if the president’s FY12 budget passed as is and existing funding levels are not cut in the current negotiations, 43 percent of Obama’s six-year, $63 billion GHI, would need to be allocated the last two years of the program (FY13 and FY14). 

Wexler also discussed the upcoming timelines for both budgets. This audio interview is part of the Daily Report’s Global Health Conversations series featuring global health thought leaders discussing topical issues pertaining to U.S. policy on global health.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.