publication date: Jun. 19, 2015

House Spending Bill to Eliminate AHRQ While Adding $1.1 Billion to NIH Budget 


A $153 billion spending bill that cleared a House subcommittee June 17 seeks to abolish the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the federal entity that funds patient-centered outcomes research and monitors the manner in which medicine is practiced in the U.S.

At the same time, the bill proposes increasing the NIH budget to $31.2 billion, a $1.1 billion above this year’s level and $100 million more than the White House requested.

The legislation—which passed the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies—seeks to halt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act by rescinding previously allocated funds and prohibiting the use of any additional money to implement the law. A similar attempt was made in 2012 (The Cancer Letter, July 20, 2012).

The bill would move the independent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to the Office of the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, where, observers say, it may not be as shielded from political interference. The 1998 Public Health Service Act and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act instruct AHRQ to provide administrative, research, technical, and communication support to USPTSF.

“This bill includes provisions that ensure that not one dime of federal tax dollars provided to the Department of Health and Human Services can be spent and do any more work on the President’s unpopular health care law,” Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said during the subcommittee markup June 17.

Continue reading 41-24 House Spending Bill to Eliminate AHRQ While Adding $1.1 Billion to NIH Budget

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