Strong Gains for Healthcare and Research in President Obama's 2017 Budget

Innovation has remained high on the administration’s agenda, as is evident from the allocations to tackle climate changes as well as find treatments for devastating health conditions.

President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2017 today. Innovation in diverse fields has remained high on the administration’s agenda, as is evident from the allocations to tackle climate changes as well as find treatments for devastating health conditions.

The following is a summary of some of the investments in the proposal:

1. Basic Research

With more than $900 million over the 2016 allocation, the Budget provides $14.6 billion in the year 2017 for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which invest in basic research.

2. Cancer Moonshot

After the President handed the baton for leading federal efforts on cancer research to Vice President Biden during his State of the Union speech, Biden staffers have had a busy schedule meeting with top research scientists and organizations around the country to forward their efforts. Now, the President has supported the effort with a $1 billion initiative to provide the funding necessary for researchers to accelerate the development of new cancer detection and treatments.

The bifurcation includes $195 million in new cancer activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fiscal Year 2016, $755 million in mandatory funds in the 2017 Budget for new cancer-related research activities at both NIH and the FDA, and support from other agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

3. Supporting Biomedical Research

Nearly 10,000 new and competing NIH grants will be provided with $33.1 billion in funding support to promote programs like the BRAIN Initiative and the Precision Medicine Initiative.

4. Research and Experimentation Tax Credit

The government wants the private industrial sector to continue to expand investment innovative technologies/programs. The incentive? A Research and Experimentation Tax Credit, which the government had offered to small businesses last year.

5. Expanding the Healthcare Workforce

Allocations to expand the provider workforce include expanding and extending funding for the National Health Services Corps through Fiscal Year 2020.

6. Expanding Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare

In addition to the Affordable Care Act, which the Budget already supports, the following initiatives have found support in the 2017 Budget:

a. Mental Health Care. The Budget includes $500 million in new mandatory funding to engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, improve access to care, and ensure that behavioral healthcare systems work.

b. Prescription Drug and Heroin Overdose. With a 2-pronged approach, the Budget includes a mandatory 2-year funding to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use, and funding to continue and increase current efforts to expand State-level prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment programs, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities.