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Brain Injury Federal Budget Update

The following information from the Brain Injury Association of America concerns the most recent federal budget proposals and their impact on traumatic brain injury fundings:

FY09 Omnibus Appropriations

On February 25, the House passed the FY 2009 omnibus spending bill covering the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education.  These agencies are currently being funded at 2008 levels under a continuing resolution that is set to expire on March 6, 2009. The Senate is expected to consider the bill this week.

Department of Education

The FY09 omnibus bill allocates nearly $108 million for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) which supports disability research, demonstration projects, and related activities for individuals with disabilities.

The bill includes language directing the increase in funding to be used to restore the number of rehabilitation research and training centers (RRTCs) focusing on issues of traumatic brain injury, arthritis, neuromuscular disease and spinal cord injury.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

As a component of the TBI Act, the line item specification in the omnibus legislation allocates $6.137 Million for CDC, an increase of $428,000 from Fiscal Year 2008. 

National Institute of Health (NIH)

The omnibus bill provides just over $30 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over $1 billion more than the budget request, and the first time the agency's one year budget has exceeded $30 billion. After accounting for this increase and the additional temporary funding in the recent stimulus legislation, NIH will have $11 billion over their existing budget to spend over the next two years.

The NIH has reported that this influx of funds will allow the agency to capitalize on unprecedented scientific opportunities with almost 10,600 new research grants. Before this infusion, funding for NIH projects had been at critically low levels.

Most importantly, the bill provides nearly $1.6 billion for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, $52 million more than the 2008 level.
(Pyles, Powers, Sutter, & Verville appropriations memo, February 26, 2009)

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Another component of the TBI Act funding, HRSA State Grants for TBI and Traumatic Brain Injury Protection and Advocacy Services, together received nearly $9.9 million, an increase of about $1.1 million dollars from last year.  It is unclear at this point the allocation for each component.

Social Security Administration

To address the mounting backlog of disability claims at the Social Security Administration, improve claims processing times, and support field offices, the bill provides $10.5 billion to combat these pitfalls.
(Pyles, Powers, Sutter, & Verville appropriations memo, February 26, 2009)
 
Presidential Budget

On Tuesday, February 24, 2009, President Obama addressed Congress and the Nation to announce an overall plan to spend $634 billion on healthcare reform.

The President's address simply provided a general overview of his budget that will be released in its entirety later this spring. Given that this was just an overview, no specific traumatic brain injury funding levels were released, however, BIAA will continue to monitor the situation this spring when the full detailed budget is presented.

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