National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Congress Agrees on FY 2010 Spending Bills for Mental Illness Research & Services
December 10, 2009
Congress, this week, agreed on spending legislation for FY 2010 for a broad array of domestic discretionary spending, including funding for mental illness research, mental health services, housing and veterans programs. These bills cover funding for the current fiscal year which began on October 1, 2009. The Senate is expected to pass the bill over the weekend and it is anticipated that President Obama will sign the legislation before December 18, 2009. Included below are details on these programs.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The conference agreement includes $31.0 billion for NIH, a $691.8 million (2.3%) increase over the FY 2009 Omnibus Bill (HR 3288), and $250 million more than the President's request. This overall NIH spending level is below BOTH the original House and Senate proposals from earlier this year. The House approved bill included $31.3 billion for NIH, while the Senate Committee approved bill included $30.8 billion.
This 2.3% increase will mean a projected $1.479 billion budget for the National Institutes of Mental Health. This increase is extremely disappointing given that it is below previous proposals endorsed by the House & Senate. Furthermore, this figure is below the projected level of medical research inflation of 3.5%.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The agreement made by Congress includes important increases for a number of critical priorities at SAMHSA.
The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is slated to receive $1 billion, $19 million above the request by President Obama and $36 million above 2009 levels. Within CMHS, the conference agreement increases a number of key initiatives:
Funding for housing programs include the following details:
In a major victory for America’s veterans, the bill for the first time includes advance appropriations for the VA to ensure a stable and uninterrupted source of funding for medical care for veterans. For fiscal year 2011, the bill includes:
Social Security Disability Claims
FY 2010 includes language regarding SSA’s Limitation on Administrative Expenses (LAE) funding. The funding level agreed to is $11.4665 billion. This is the level of funding proposed by both the House and Senate as well as what was recommended in the President's budget. This increase is an important step forward in addressing the enormous backlog of claims and appeals for SSI and SSDI benefits.