Yesterday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved an HHS appropriations bill (pp 50-58) that uses the $30.6B funding level and worse, as Tony Mazzaschi at AAMC describes it, “micromanages” how HHS agencies can spend the money: no “economic research” at the NIH, no “patient-oriented outcomes research” by any HHS agency (in other words, no research that might benefit health care reform). AHRQ would be terminated, in fact.
At least Collins gets to keep his job … though he does lose his discretionary fund, and he is charged to “ensure that at least 16,670 new and competing Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards are funded in fiscal year 2013.” Good news for F and T32 trainees (who knows where they find get jobs) … bad news for ICs who may therefore need to shift the burden of sequestration to RPGs or other mechanisms.
The micromanaging doesn’t stop there. The section on the NCATS appropriation ($64M less than the Administration requested) reads:
For carrying out section 301 and title IV of the PHS Act with respect to translational sciences, $574,713,000: Provided, That up to $10,000,000 shall be available to implement section 402C of the PHS Act (relating to the Cures Acceleration Network) after NIH has published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments with respect to a rule to ensure that all programs, projects, and activities of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences do not create duplication, redundancy or competition with industry: Provided further, That at least $487,767,000 is provided to the Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards (CTSA) program: Provided further, That no changes shall be made to the CTSA program until the date on which the Institute of Medicine (referred to in this title as ‘‘IOM’’) review described in the joint explanatory statement accompanying Public Law 112–74 is completed.
Out of the $2.5B set aside for NIGMS, $376.5M must go toward the IDeA program. At NIEHS, the string attached to their $684,755,000 is “that none of the funds … may be used by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) for purposes of the Report on Carcinogens (ROC) unless and until 30 days after the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) peer review of the ROC process and listing criteria requested in the joint explanatory statement accompanying Public Law 112–74 has been completed.”
And the sausage making has just begun.