U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Budget website:  http://www.hhs.gov/budget/docbudget.htm

  • 2010 budget:  $78.4 billion
  • Enacted 2009:  $78.5 billion (includes $2.8 billion in emergency funds for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)

The budget lays the groundwork for comprehensive reform of the American health care system, most notably by setting aside a reserve fund of $635 billion to help finance health reform.  The reserve fund is financed by re-balancing the tax code and achieving health care savings in three areas:  aligning incentives toward quality, promoting efficiency and accountability, and encouraging shared responsibility.

Even before the budget was released, the Administration took major steps to bring the nation closer to comprehensive health reform.  In one of his first official acts, the President signed into law the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides coverage for approximately four million more children by Fiscal Year 2013.  Specifically, the Recovery Act puts us on a path to modernize the health care system and to deliver better care while reducing unnecessary costs by investing in electronic medical records, improved information on what treatments and tests work best -- comparative effectiveness research -- and an historic $1 billion investment in prevention. The budget builds on these investments and also supports families by providing additional funding for affordable, high-quality child care, expanding Early Head Start and Head Start, and creating an evidence-based home visitation program for low-income families.


  • Helps finance health care reform.  The budget establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund of $635 billion to help finance fundamental reform of our health care system to bring down costs and expand coverage.  The reserve fund is offset by new revenue and savings proposals that promote efficiency and accountability, align incentives toward quality, and encourage shared responsibility. 
  • Accelerates the adoption of health IT. Building on the historic investment in the Recovery Act, the Administration will continue efforts to further the adoption and implementation of health information technology -- an essential tool to modernize the health care system.
  • Strengthens the health professions workforce.  The budget invests $330 million as part of the health workforce initiative to address the shortage of health care providers in underserved areas.   The Health Workforce Initiative includes the National Health Service Corps, the Nurse Education Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program, the Nurse Faculty Loan Program, and Dental Workforce Development Grants.
  • Lowers drug costs and improves food and medical product safety.  The budget helps Americans to buy safe and effective drugs from other countries, establishes a new regulatory pathway to approve generic biologics, and strengthens efforts to make food and medical products safer. 
  • Enhances HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment. The budget includes $3 billion, an increase of $107 million above FY 2009, to detect and prevent HIV/AIDS among high-risk groups and increase access to health care among uninsured and underinsured individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.


  • Improves Medicare’s sustainability.  The budget strengthens Medicare by encouraging high-quality and efficient care, and reducing excessive payments, working toward long-term sustainability so that beneficiaries can continue to rely on this critical program.
  • Expands the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services research agenda. New funding broadens research activities including new pilot projects to evaluate payment reforms, ways to provide higher quality care at lower costs, and better align provider payments with costs.  


  • Supports Americans with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  The budget provides $211 million in HHS for research into the causes of and treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), treatment, screenings, public awareness, and support services.
  • Begin the doubling of funding for cancer research. The budget includes $6 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support cancer research, central to the President’s sustained, multi-year plan to double cancer research. 


  • Makes a down payment on the President's "Zero to Five" plan. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made a down payment on the President's comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan, providing $1.1 billion to double the number of children served by Early Head Start, an additional $1 billion to expand and improve Head Start, and an additional $2 billion in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.  The budget sustains critical supports for young children and their families by building on these investments and provides $8.5 billion over 10 years in funds to states for evidence-based home visitation programs for low-income families.
  • Provides energy assistance to low-income families. The President’s plan invests $3.2 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help low-income families with their home heating and cooling expenses.  The budget also proposes a new mandatory trigger mechanism to provide automatic increases in energy assistance whenever there is a spike in energy prices.