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Bush's Budget Proposal Would Cut Medicare Spending
Date:2/5/2008

passed by Congress."

According to Dyer, the budget would increase resources spent on food safety, modernize drug safety, speed approval of generic drugs and improve the safety and review of medical devices. The budget also includes increases in salaries and up to 1,000 additional employees for the FDA.

The agency, which was shaken by a long list of food recalls and food-linked illness outbreaks in 2007, plans to boost its inspections of domestic and imported food, as well as medical products. It will also target more inspections of high-risk food items, Dyer said.

An industry group applauded the agency's new emphasis on bringing cheaper generic drugs to the public faster.

"Bringing generic medicines to market in a timely manner is a win-win for the federal government, the generic industry and, most of all, consumers," Generic Pharmaceutical Association President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a prepared statement.

Other agencies within HHS would either receive no added funding or lose money under the Bush budget proposal. These include the National Institutes of Health, which would see its budget hold steady at $29.4 billion for next year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would have $400 million shaved off its current budget of $6.2 billion. Programs aimed at providing health care to the rural poor would see their budgets fall from $6.9 billion to $6.0 billion, the president's office announced.

In addition to these other agencies, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking at a $7.14 billion budget proposal for 2009. The agency hopes to use its money to strengthen energy and homeland security around cities and major ports.

The EPA would also continue to promote energy efficiency and clean air and water standards. The agency intends to use $170 million to fund emergency teams that can address more than one terrorist attack at a time, the agency said in a statement.
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