Trump's 2018 Budget Cuts Funding For Cancer, Mental Health, and HIV Research

Making America sicker again. Christopher Gregory/Getty Images

Robin Andrews 23 May 2017, 17:33

A few months back, Trump came up with a draft federal budget for the 2018 fiscal year. He didn’t write it himself, his advisors listened to what he said, and they came up with it based on his rhetoric. When it was found to contain historic cuts to sciences, the arts, and healthcare, a bipartisan group of lawmakers decried it as a terrible set of ideas.

The draft budget also brought with it funding cut requests from the President to Congress for the 2017 fiscal year. These were rebuffed, and instead, Congress gave almost all government science agencies a not-insignificant funding boost.

Now, Trump and his team have released the “fleshed out” 2018 budget, and it’s safe to say that it’s just as bad – and in many ways even more severe – than the original draft copy.

The healthcare and biomedical research section was accidentally released to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website for around an hour before suddenly disappearing yesterday. We had a look at a copy of it, and appears that Trump will be trying again in 2018 to do serious harm to American science.

Here are the lowlights of the budget, entitled A New Foundation for American Greatness:

  • The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) budget will be slashed by 18 percent to $26 billion.
  • The NIH’s National Cancer Institute would receive a 19 percent cut, as will research into diabetes.
  • Mental health research at the NIH would get a 20 percent cut, as would research into drug abuse prevention.
  • $403 million would be taken out of a program designed to train students up to be medical professionals, including physicians and clinical practitioners.
  • A specialized program that is designed to promote medical research in foreign countries is also being completely scrapped.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be cut by 17 percent to $6.3 billion. The tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and other STI mitigation initiative will get 17 percent less funding, and the CDC’s global health program will see an 18 percent reduction.
  • Environmental health research will be cut by 28 percent to $157 million. The one exception is a program looking at preventing lead poisoning in children (see: Flint), which will get $35 million in funding.
  • Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor, would be cut by over $600 billion, with an additional $839 billion to be cut via the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Funding for the poor will essentially be cut in half.
  • $192 billion of funding into nutritional research and healthy eating will be scrapped.
  • $72 billion of disability welfare would also be cut.
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