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February 14, 2012

US budget plan trims spending on federal health programmes

The US President's 2013 budget plan will cut spending on health programmes at the expense of hospitals and care homes.

The US President’s 2013 budget plan will cut spending on health programmes at the expense of hospitals and care homes.

The budget proposed by Barack Obama for US Health and Human Services (HHS) includes spending reductions which are expected to save over $350bn over the next decade.

The HHS financial plan totals $940.9 billion, with $523bn going to Medicare, an increase of $45bn on last year, but will cut payments to long-term care hospitals such as those run by Kindred Healthcare and to nursing homes, saving about $63bn over ten years, reports Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies will need to provide $156bn in discounts for medicines sold to low-income senior citizens to help support health care funds.

On Monday Obama requested a 17% rise in the FDA’s 2013 budget to support the review of generic drugs and biosimilars, but much of this funding will come from inspections and fees paid by drug companies like Pfizer.

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