WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, today announced that several Missouri priorities, including another $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), were included in the bipartisan, committee-passed LHHS funding bill.
“For the second year in a row, the committee has worked together in a tough fiscal environment to pass a bipartisan bill that reflects Missourians’ priorities,” said Blunt. “I’m proud that we were able to secure another $2 billion increase for the NIH, providing doctors and researchers in Missouri and across the nation more resources to help them treat and cure our most deadly and costliest diseases.”
As chairman for the last three years, Blunt has secured a $2 billion increase for NIH in every Labor/HHS bill the subcommittee has put forward, amounting to a 20 percent increase for the agency during that time. Under Blunt’s leadership, the subcommittee has more than tripled Alzheimer’s disease research funding from $589 million to $1.8 billion.
Blunt continued, “The bill also continues building on our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, expand access to quality health care, and make college more affordable. These critical investments have been made possible, in part, by eliminating or consolidating dozens of programs over the past three years. I urge all of my Senate colleagues to support this measure when it reaches the floor.”
Click here for the full list of critical priorities included in the bill, and here for audio from Blunt’s opening remarks at the committee today.
Key Missouri Priorities Funded in the Bill:
Department of Health and Human Services
- $2 Billion Increase for NIH: For the third consecutive year, the bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH, providing a total of $36.1 billion. The continued investments in the NIH have fundamentally changed the trajectory of biomedical research funding and the prospects of scientists looking to cure the most deadly and costliest diseases. In 2016, Missouri institutions received $509 million in NIH funding.
- 440 Percent Funding Increase Over the Past Two Years for Programs to Combat Opioid Use Disorder: The measure includes $816 million, an increase of $665 million since fiscal year 2016, for programs to combat the opioid epidemic. According to CDC, nearly 2 million Americans have an opioid use disorder related to prescription drugs and almost 600,000 have an opioid use disorder related to heroin.
- $414 Million Increase for Alzheimer’s Disease Research: The bill includes $1.8 billion for Alzheimer’s disease research, a 29.3 percent increase from last year’s level. In 2017, Medicare and Medicaid will spend an estimated $175 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s, the most expensive disease in America, and other dementias.
- $1.49 Billion for Community Health Centers: The nearly 200 service delivery sites in Missouri serve more than 500,000 Missourians per year.
- $21 Million for the Office for Advancement of Telehealth: The measure increases funding for Telehealth by $2.5 million above FY2017. Telehealth networks improve patient care, increase access to medical providers, and can reduce the incidence of chronic disease, especially for Missourians in rural areas.
Department of Education:
- Provides First Discretionary Increase in the Maximum Pell Grant in Over a Decade: The measure increases the total maximum Pell Grant from $5,920 to $6,020, an increase of 1.7 percent.
Eliminates inefficient and costly programs:
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): The bill maintains level funding for AmeriCorps, National Civilian Community Corps, Volunteers in Service to America, and Senior Corps programs. In addition, CNCS organizations in Missouri and across the nation work closely with communities to improve education, decrease violence, combat the opioid epidemic, and respond to natural disasters.
The measure eliminates six programs, equating to over $152 million in spending reductions. Over the past three years under Blunt, the subcommittee has eliminated or consolidated a total of three dozen programs totaling more than $1.2 billion.