House Passes Health Spending Bill — Embracing Neurosurgery’s Priorities
On July 15, the House Appropriations Committee approved its $253.8 billion fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies. The legislation was packaged into a broader spending bill, H.R. 4502, which passed the House on July 29 by a vote of 219 to 208. Some highlights pertinent to neurosurgery include:
- $49 billion for the National Institutes of Health;
- $612 million for the BRAIN Initiative;
- $400 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program;
- $25 million for the Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment Program;
- $25 million for firearm injury and mortality prevention research;
- $43 million for opioids and pain management research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke;
- $15 million for traumatic brain injury; and
- $5 million for the Military and Civilian Partnership for Trauma Readiness Grant Program (also known as the MISSION ZERO program).
Other priorities include funding for the early detection of brain aneurysms and brain cancer research. Finally, the House has requested that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report to Congress on the status of the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria Program for advanced diagnostic imaging, including any challenges the agency is experiencing in implementing the program.
The Senate has not committed to a timeline for its FY 2022 appropriations bills, increasing the likelihood of stop-gap funding legislation to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.