President Obama Releases FY13 Budget Proposal With Overall Decrease For GHI

“President Barack Obama [on Monday] proposed a $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2013 that aims to slash the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years,” the Associated Press reports, and provides an agency-by-agency breakdown of the proposed budget (2/13). “Making up just one percent of the U.S. Government’s overall budget, the Department of State/USAID budget totals $51.6 billion,” a U.S. Department of State fact sheet notes (2/13). “Overall, funding for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) is down in the FY 2013 request, with most of the reduction coming from HIV/AIDS bilateral amounts,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker. “Most other areas saw decreases as well, except for family planning and funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the GAVI Alliance, which increased,” the resource adds. The budget plan proposes a total of approximately $8.5 billion for GHI, down more than $300 million from FY 2012, the resource notes, adding that $6.4 billion of that funding would go to PEPFAR, including about $4.5 billion for HIV and $224 million for tuberculosis. The Global Fund receives $1.65 billion in the request, according to the resource (2/13).

In a post in the U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote” blog, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby responded to President Obama’s FY 2013 budget request, writing, “It demonstrates that the United States remains fully committed to the fight against global AIDS, and will meet the President’s ambitious targets for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention announced on World AIDS Day 2011.” He added, “I am so proud that, even in a challenging budget environment with strict budget caps, the Administration has continued to make this work a priority” (2/13). However, the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog writes that “[g]lobal AIDS advocates who cheered President Obama when he announced new treatment targets for the PEPFAR program on World AIDS Day are now left to wonder how this is possible in a PEPFAR budget that was cut by the Congress by more than $90 million in the current fiscal year and faces a potentially draconian cut for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2012. It is well known that the Global Fund works hand in hand with the PEPFAR program frequently sharing the financing burden of providing HIV clinical care and antiretroviral drugs for the same communities. Slashing the PEPFAR program to increase spending for the Global Fund would seem to undermine the promise of treatment scale up” (Lubinski, 2/13). Other groups, including PSI in its “Healthy Lives” blog, welcomed the proposed budget for “keep[ing] the United States on track to meet a three year, $4 billion commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria” (2/13). National Journal reports on the proposed budget’s domestic HIV funding, writing, “Groups that have been critical of federal AIDS funding praised President Obama’s [domestic] budget on Monday” (Fox, 2/13).

More detailed information regarding the international health aspects of the FY13 budget proposal is available on the Kaiser Family Foundations’ Policy Tracker.

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