Obama Rolls Out Full FY2010 Budget With $8.6B for Global Health Programs
President Obama recently rolled out his full 2010 fiscal year budget, which asks for a total of $8.6 billion for global health programs, including $7.4 billion for PEPFAR, tuberculosis and malaria funding, CQ Politics reports. Obama's global health initiative would total $63 billion in global health spending over six years. CQ Politics writes, "[b]ut the plan offered no year-by-year or line-item specifics, leading some groups to say they would await the details."
The Global Health Council (GHC) is "concerned that these budget figures will not be enough to meet these goals," Maurice Middleberg, GHC executive vice president, said. Kaytee Riek of the Health Global Access Project said, "President Obama repeatedly committed to ensuring the [United States] does its fair share to fight AIDS around the world. But this budget's drastic cuts to funding for AIDS, TB and malaria shows that his promises were just rhetoric." According to CQ Politics , "The ultimate spending decisions will fall to Congress, which has so far shown limited appetite for boosting foreign aid" (Graham-Silverman, CQ Politics, 5/9).
If the budget is approved, it will put the U.S. on a "path to double foreign assistance" by 2015, Jack Lew, deputy secretary of state, said on Friday. According to a statement released with the budget, "By increasing foreign assistance and expanding diplomatic and development capacity, the U.S. is renewing its leadership role in the global community" (AFP/Google.com, 5/9). The Hill reports that Obama plans to double the USAID workforce of foreign service officers by 2012 (Swanson, Hill, 5/8).
A Boston Globe editorial says the proposal "would break new ground in treating children's infectious diseases, even as it falls short of campaign promises for major increases in overseas funding for HIV/AIDS." Although HIV/AIDS advocates have "criticized" the proposal, the U.S. "can save more lives for less money in developing countries by broadening its health safety net," according to the editorial. Obama's plan is an "overdue acknowledgement that [developing] nations need assistance in addressing a raft of diseases and health threats," the editorial says, adding that the "differences between the president's campaign pledges and last week's proposal will pale in significance if Congress reacts to the mounting budget deficits by throwing a brake on foreign aid." The editorial concludes that "[a]ll advocates of U.S. global health spending should rally around the Obama plan, to make sure that Americans' commitment to prevent and treat deadly diseases overseas does not fall victim to the ebb and flow of the world's economy" (Boston Globe, 5/11).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.