Department of Health and Human Services

The Federal Budget


Media contact: 202-690-6343
FY2012 Request:  $79.9 billion
FY2011 Request:  $81.3 billion

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the principal Federal agency charged with protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.  The President's 2012 Budget includes $79.9 billion to support HHS’s mission, which is slightly above the FY 2010 funding level. Within this level, the Department is taking on significant new responsibilities through implementing the deficit-reducing Affordable Care Act, the new food safety law, and efforts to strengthen program integrity.  The Department’s budget reflects the need for sacrifice across a range of areas in departments across the government in order to make the most critical investments to boost our Nation’s health and competitiveness for years to come. This includes reductions in areas whose mission we agree with, such as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Community Action Agencies. At the same time, the Budget makes important investments in Head Start, child care, training primary caregivers, and biomedical research for a more effective and globally competitive health care system in the long term.

Improves Health Care Services and Reduces Cost to Taxpayer

  • Reduces our long-term budget deficit by approximately $230 billion over the next decade and about $1 trillion over the second decade resulting from the passage of the Affordable Care Act, based on the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections.
  • Supports new consumer protections and review of unreasonable premium increases, expands coverage for uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions, and funds programs to hold health insurance companies more accountable to their enrollees.
  • Continues a commitment to prevent, detect, and recover improper payments, including fraud, waste, and abuse, in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and provides new resources to reach the Administration’s goal of reducing the Medicare fee-for-service error rate in half by 2012.
  • Supports comprehensive, fiscally responsible reform to Medicare’s physician payments to improve quality and efficiency.   

Invests in Science for a More Competitive Future

  • Invests in America’s competitiveness through $32 billion in funding for biomedical research, including NIH’s leading-edge work in cancer science and research into Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders.
  • Strengthens national preparedness through $765 million for the advanced development of next generation medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. Additionally, $655 million is provided to ensure the availability of medical countermeasures from the Strategic National Stockpile during a public health emergency.
  • Bolsters the safety of the Nation's food and medicines by advancing science in this area with $2.7 billion in budget authority and $4.4 billion in total program resources for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Keeps America Healthy

  • Strengthens and expands access to primary care in underserved areas by funding training and support for health care providers who choose to enter primary care in medically underserved areas.  In total, the Budget includes investments that will help train more than 4,000 primary care providers estimated to enter the workforce over the next five years. 
  • Undertakes a new approach to preventing chronic diseases through a reformed chronic disease program that consolidates the following inter-related program areas into one competitive grant program: CDC heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and other conditions, nutrition, health promotion, prevention centers, and select school health activities.
  • Continues critical funding for health centers by providing $2.1 billion for comprehensive, high quality, primary and preventative health care services to all Americans regardless of ability to pay.  In 2012, health centers are estimated to serve 24 million patients.
  • Invests in mental health and substance abuse prevention efforts, including targeted funds for young people, military members and their families, and the homeless.
  • Invests approximately $3.5 billion for domestic HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities across HHS to expand access to affordable health care and prevention services and align activities with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Provides Services for Vulnerable Populations in a Cost-effective Way

  • Continues strong support for high-quality early childhood programs with more than $8 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start to serve approximately 968,000 children and families and $6.3 billion to support 1.7 million children with child care subsidies.  At the same time, the Budget invests in improved quality, supporting a $350 million competition among states to improve the quality of existing early learning programs through the Early Learning Challenge Fund; proposing principles for Child Care Development Block Grant reauthorization that focus on empowering parents, protecting health and safety, and strengthening student learning; and supporting proposed regulations to strengthen Head Start by requiring low-performing programs to compete for continued funding.  
  • Proposes comprehensive child welfare reform in order to help prevent abuse and keep children in safe homes and out of long-term foster care placements.
  • Supports the President’s fatherhood agenda by encouraging States to ensure that when fathers do the right thing and pay child support, the children of those fathers benefit. 
  • Increases access to health care services among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
  • Supports seniors with $96 million for the Administration's Caregiver Initiative, an effort to expand help to families and seniors so that caregivers can better manage their multiple responsibilities and seniors can live in the community for as long as possible. 
  • Reduces funding for the Senior Community Services Employment Program by $375 million and transfers it from the Department of Labor to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, where the program can operate successfully with fewer resources through improved coordination with other efforts to promote seniors’ health, wellness, and independence.
  • Returns funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to previous levels.  During this period of tough budget choices, the President’s Budget provides $2.57 billion for LIHEAP to help struggling families make ends meet by offsetting some of their home heating and cooling costs.  The program doubled in FY 2009 following an energy spike, but energy prices are now significantly lower, and the prior level is no longer sustainable. The Administration will continue to monitor energy prices going forward and will be willing to revisit program needs if there are significant price increases.
  • Reforms and cuts the Community Services Block Grant, which helps to support Community Action Agencies – organizations dedicated to empowering low-income individuals and helping them meet life’s basic necessities.  Yet the program has been awarding grants to agencies for the past thirty years based on a virtually unchanged formula that doesn’t consider performance, and does not hold agencies accountable for outcomes.  The Budget provides $350 million to fund the highest performing Community Action Agencies so that scarce taxpayer dollars are used to most effectively meet important community needs.