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?ush budget would cut minority health care funding
WASHINGTON (AP) - Programs target-
g Ural health, disease prevention and aid
-senior citizens are slated for spending
ts under the budget President Bush will
nd to Congress next week, according to a
d draft for the Department of Health
d man Services.
Also slated for cuts: minority health,
ild care, mental health and training for
ctors at children's hospitals.
At the same time, the plan massively
:reases spending for medical research at
eNational Institutes of Health and boosts
ending for community health centers. It
sates new programs for after-school activ-
es; group maternity homes and mentoring
-children of prisoners.
A nistration officials declined to dis-
ss dget details but did not dispute the
ures laid out in a February memo from
NHS budget chief.
Overall, the Bush budget gives the
department $55.5 billion for 2002, not
including Medicare, Medicaid and other
programs that automatically increase each
That's about $2.7 billion more than this
year, but NIH alone is slated for an increase
of nearly $2.8 billion, meaning programs
throughout HHS face stagnant funding or
The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS
Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, for
instance, which provides $1.8 billion in ser-
vices to AIDS patients, will see no new
"I can't overstate how bad this is for peo-
ple with AIDS," said Alexis Schuler of the
advocacy group AIDS Action.
Last month, after word leaked of cuts in
the Child Care Development Block Grant
and child abuse prevention programs, sever-
al Senate Democrats lashed out. "They're
going after the most vulnerable families and
kids in America," said Sen. Christopher
HHS spokesman Campbell Gardett said
Monday that many of the spending cuts tar-
geted one-time items, items not requested
by HHS or projects earmarked by members
"The popular word for it is pork," Gardett
Gardett argued that last year's spending
increases were too high. "The 15 percent
growth represented what we would call a
fiscal holiday, and it was not sustainable,"
The budget saves $20 million that would
have funded a drug reimportation program.
The Clinton administration killed the pro-
gram late last year.
Among the programs slated for cuts,
according to the HHS document:
Training for health-care providers in
medically underserved areas is set for a $94
"They're going after the most vulnerable families
and kids in America."
-- Sen. Christopher Dodd
million drop - nearly 27 percent.
A Centers for Disease Control and Pre-
vention program that tracks and fights out-
breaks and epidemics will lose $125.5
million, a 48 percent drop. Officials said
the CDC's famed "disease detectives" aren't
part of the cut.
The Office of Minority Health would
see a 12 percent cut - about $6 million
from its $49 million budget.
A $235 million program to train doc-
tors at children's hospitals, originally target-
ed for virtual elimination, is now likely to
see a $35 million cut.
* Mental health programs at the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administra-
tion are slated for a $15.9 million cut.
* Rural health and telemedicine pro-
grams, currently funded at $137 million,
will be cut by 42.5 percent, to $79 million.
Community Access Program, a $120
million Clinton administration initiative
meant to connect community clinics with
public hospitals, will be eliminated alto-
Research at the Health Care Financing
Administration will be cut by 60 percent to
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