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Obama Proposes $911 Billion for Health and Human Services
Date:2/1/2010

Highlights include efforts to improve food safety, expand child care and boost research

MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The health-care portion of President Barack Obama's 2011 budget proposal includes $1.4 billion to overhaul the nation's food-safety program, $1.6 billion to expand child-care programs, and $1.7 billion to fight waste, fraud and abuse, Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, said Monday.

"Under this budget we plan to provide the health and human services that America depends on more effectively, routing out waste and focusing our programs on results," Sebelius said during an afternoon press conference.

"This budget takes a big step toward a healthier, stronger America," she said.

The total 2011 HHS budget request, which is subject to Congressional approval, is $911 billion, an increase of $51 billion over 2010.

The goal of the proposed budget, according to Sebelius, is to start switching America's health care from a "sickness" to a "wellness" system.

"What we have today is a sick-care system where we wait until something goes wrong to intervene," Sebelius said. "What we are on the road to building is a true health-care system that promises better health all the time."

The proposed budget includes $1.7 billion to fight waste, fraud and abuse -- an increase of $250 million over last year's budget. "This year's budget includes an historic investment in cracking down on health-care fraud -- the folks who steal from taxpayers, endanger patients and jeopardize Medicare's and Medicaid's future," Sebelius said.

Among other budget highlights, the U.S. National Institutes of Health would get an additional $1 billion in new medical research funds, bringing the agency's total to $32.2 billion for research funds.

There is also nearly $500 million for vaccine research, including finding better ways to produce vaccines faster.

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