Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Extra Money for Science in Obama’s Budget

From the NewYorkTimes.com:

Calming fears that scientific research would be hurt by the Obama administration, the budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services was $81.3 billion, up from $79.6 billion a year ago. And the National Institutes of Health saw its budget request rise by $1 billion, to $32 billion, more than was requested last year.

The proposed budget, announced on Monday, now includes $6 billion for cancer research, intended to allow the agency to start 30 new drug trials and double the number of drugs and vaccines in clinical trials by 2016.

The first priority noted by the Office of Management and Budget was to support health insurance reform by strengthening policy on the use of computerized records, financing research to compare the effectiveness of different medical treatments and creating health centers to get more care to populations that lack it, like the uninsured and American Indians.

In other science-related budget requests, the National Science Foundation would get $7.4 billion, a nearly 8 percent increase from the budget last year.

Scientists had feared that budgets would be frozen and that stimulus financing that had been directed toward science would dry up in the coming fiscal year.

Separately, the State Department, through its own budget and that of the United States Agency for International Development, pours billions of dollars into global health. That money increased nearly 9 percent in the Mr. Obama’s budget request, rising to $8.5 billion this year from $7.8 billion, according to the department’s budget summary.

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